Monthly Archives: January 2007

Australian Government Warns Cricket World Cup Tourists About “Violent Crime” In Region. Lumps Barbados With Jamaica

CARICOM Strikes Again – The World Views Caribbean As One Place

Before CARICOM, people generally knew that Barbados was a separate country with it’s own culture and existence.

Now? It’s all just one big Caribbean brand, don’t you know!

Hey… you have to watch traveling to Barbados because of those high Jamaican murder/robbery rates…

Cup Tourists Warned

Adelaide Now, Jon Pierik

AUSTRALIAN cricket fans set to flock to the Caribbean for next month’s World Cup have been urged to show caution on crime-ridden islands.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has released its World Cup travel bulletin for the nine islands which will host the sport’s showcase event: Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Guyana, Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda.

Australia leaves for the Caribbean later this month and will play its warm-up matches in St Vincent, Pool A games in St Kitts and Super 8 games in Antigua, Grenada and Barbados.

The semi-finals will be held in Jamaica and St Lucia, while the final will be played in Barbados.

“In some parts of the Caribbean, violent crime, including armed robbery, kidnapping and murder, is common,” the DFAT report says. “Violent crime is often gang-related and perpetrators may be armed. There is also a high rate of petty crime, including pick-pocketing and bag snatching.

“Walking after dark, including on beaches, can be dangerous due to the increased risk of robbery and assault.

“Crime, including sexual assault and robbery, has also occurred after travellers have accepted ‘spiked’ food or drink.”

… continue reading this article at Adelaide Now (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, CARICOM, Cricket, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

Island Vulnerability.Org Website – Fabulous Resource For Barbados Greenland Dump Research

barbados-beach-rainbow.jpg

“Like all who live on small islands,
I must always be remembering the sea.”

From “Hymn to the sea” by Frank Collymore

Island Vulnerability Website Has Many Barbados Landslip Reports

Shona stumbled onto Ilan Kelman’s Island Vulnerability.Org website when we were researching the great Boscobel Landslip of 1901. (see BFP’s The Great Barbados Landslip Of 1901 – Will It Be Repeated At Greenland Dump?)

Dr. Kelman is the Deputy Director of the Cambridge University Centre For Risk In The Built Environment (link here), and by the looks of what we see on the net has published dozens and dozens of studies and articles in his field. (Dr. Kelman’s personal website is here: Ilan Kelman.Org)

The Island Vulnerability.Org website looks at small islands around the world in terms of natural and man-made vulnerabilities – including Barbados. Two online reports are of great interest…

1/ Hazard & Vulnerability Data For Barbados, and

2/ Historic Hazard Events For Barbados

Eight Major Barbados Landslip Incidents Recorded – Most Recently 1994

The Historic Hazard Events For Barbados report can be downloaded in Word format and lists some 19 pages of natural and man-made disasters that have befallen Barbados. For a list of “things you never knew” have a look at the list!

From this report, the journey became more interesting…

The “Hazard and Vulnerability Data For Barbados – 2006″ report makes reference to a 1998 “EMLUP Project” report listing “Scotland District Landslip Zones” and “Scotland District Landslip Rate”.

What is EMLUP? (That’s what I said!) EMLUP is the “Environmental Management and Land Use Planning for Sustainable Development Project of 1997 – 1998.”

So I typed that into Google and discovered the “BARBADOS NATIONAL ASSESSMENT REPORT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE BARBADOS PROGRAMME OF ACTION (BPOA)” prepared by the Barbados Ministry of Housing Lands and the Environment in September 2003. (download the report here)

Hmmm…. the authors include one “Ricardo Marshall, Waste Management Coordinator, Sewerage and Solid Waste Project Unit”.

Ricardo Marshall is a BIG PUSHER for putting a dump at Greenland – In The Unstable Landslide District.

Let’s see what Ricardo Marshall’s report says…

“There is little surface water on the island, with small surface streams found primarily in the Scotland District region of the island. The island is therefore almost completely dependent on groundwater abstracted from the aquifer underlying the island.

The island is divided into two distinct geologic regions. Eighty-six percent of the island is made up of a karst landscape of deeply fractured and gullied limestone laid down in a series of limestone terraces, deeply incised by numerous gullies and underlain by a complex underground cave system. The remaining land area is comprised of the sedimentary deposits of the Scotland Series. These layers are highly folded and faulted and are very susceptible to erosion. Large scale land slippage is common in the Scotland District…” (download the PDF Barbados Government Report link here)

Scotland National Park Mentioned In Government Report

Then I came across another report – by Glenn Marshall of the Soil Conservation Unit, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Barbados…

Under the section “Hot Spots”, Mr. Marshall states…

“Other issues include a municipal landfill to be operated in the proposed Scotland District National Park and inadequate training in GIS modeling and analysis tools…” (Report in PDF Online link here)

List Of All Barbados Free Press Greenland ArticlesLink Here

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Filed under Barbados, Environment, History

Mychal Massie: If American Blacks Want An Apology For Slavery – They Should Send The Demand To Their Nearest Mosque

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ONE of the few references I’ve seen to the Muslim historical and contemporary role in slavery occurs in Mychal Massie’s latest column at World Net Daily. While WND is hardly the mainstream American media, Mr. Massie’s passing comment reminded me that I intend to write about this issue “someday” – the issue being how the mainstream media give a pass to Muslims for their historical role in the African and Asian slave trade, while at the same time fawning over those who demand compensation from only Western countries.

Perhaps I’ll write about it instead of allowing Shona to drag me to Barbados Gospelfest. ;-)

Clive

“I further suggest that those eager for an apology (about slavery) send a letter of request for same to their nearest mosque or imam – and not just for 9-11 – because no group has played a more prominent role in the African slave trade than Muslims.”

… from Mychal Massie’s article Slavery: A Crutch For Blacks

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, History, Politics & Corruption, Religion

Barbados Gospelfest: May 20 to 28, 2007 – Can We Get Clive There This Year?

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Our own Clive will be back on the island in early May, and for some reason, Shona thinks that while we enjoy Gospelfest – Cliverton really needs to attend! :-)

From Black UK Online…

There are probably very few holiday destinations were committed Christians can combine warm Caribbean sunshine, good fellowship and the opportunity to attend some of the very best in praise and worship outside of the US. For those of you who have never heard of the internationally acclaimed Gospelfest, it is now in its 15th year and attracts thousands of Christians from all over the Caribbean, Canada, US and of course the UK. It is a truly awesome event, well organised and the quality of the ministry and performances are of the highest standard. ..

… continue reading this article at Black UK Online (link here)

For a review and photos of Barbados Gospelfest 2006, visit Culsen Travel (UK) (link here)

Thanks to Culsen Travel for the photo of John Fisher & Blessed Voices from Barbados Gospelfest 2006

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Religion, Traveling and Tourism

Cricket World Cup Organizers To Locals – Overseas Sales Not Going So Well, Please Buy Tickets

After setting ticket prices so high that Caribbean fans gave up and decided to watch on television – Cricket World Cup organizers are now planning to woo the local audience with a last-minute advertising campaign.

Although Barbados has sold out the last few matches, some of the earlier matches in places like Antigua have not yet sold half the tickets.

Obviously, overseas sales are not up to expectations in some venues. Blame the late CARICOM visa announcement, or blame The Ashes or whatever you will – whatever the causes, there’s not a dry armpit or a solid night’s sleep to be had on the CWC organizing committee…

… or should there be by members of the various governments that have bet the farm on a successful Cricket World Cup.

From The Hindu…

Cricket World Cup rallies locals to close gap in ticket sales

San Juan (Puerto Rico), Jan 31. (AP): Six weeks before the start of the cricket World Cup, tournament organisers are rolling out a last-minute advertising blitz in the Caribbean to boost sagging ticket sales.

About half the seats for matches in the nine host countries are still available, and officials are rallying local fans to take up the slack once over-the-counter ticket sales begin on Thursday.

“It’s going to depend on local support,” chief ticketing officer Delroy Taylor said. “We’re expecting the people of the Caribbean will come through in this last phase.”

The host nations have spent millions of dollars on new stadium, roads and other improvements ahead of the tournament, billed as the largest sporting event ever in the Caribbean. Gaps in the stands could sour what many of the tiny countries prize as a rare moment in the global media spotlight.

Not all venues are struggling – hosts of later rounds are already turning fans away from some matches, including the final in Barbados.

But other countries, including Trinidad and Tobago and St Kitts, are worried because they lack high-profile contests.

As many as 1,00,000 tourists are expected during the March 11-April 28 tournament, and foreigners account for many of the tickets sold. When sales resume on Thursday after a two-month hiatus, organisers hope for a surge of sales to locals.

“In terms of our culture, we really are a last-minute people,” said Roxanne Morris, commercial manager for the Jamaican organising committee.

A new strategy aims to energise the Caribbean, first-time hosts of the tournament, with a barrage of advertisements over the first three weeks in February. Ticket centres will hand out World Cup posters, bumper stickers, and CD’s with the tournament song – “The game of love and unity,” by local artists including Jamaican-born Shaggy.

Over a dancehall beat, the lyrics drive home the message: “This is it, one big game, that you cannot miss/ No matter who you are – everyone’s on the list.”

Even rural villages are targetted.

A road show in Antigua, which has yet to sell half its tickets for six Super 8 matches, will sell tickets at stops throughout the countryside. In Trinidad, well-known calypso artist Shurwayne Winchester is performing at free concerts with a “cricket caravan” to promote the World Cup.

A lack of widespread Internet access may have prevented people in poor Caribbean nations from buying tickets earlier, Taylor said. Prices range from $15 to $90 for single matches in the group stage, and $25 to $100 for the Super 8 round.

Many hotels report cricket fans from overseas, particularly the United Kingdom, have snapped up all their vacancies. But critics of a special visa regime argue it has discouraged other foreigners. Designed to facilitate travel among host countries, the policy treats them as a common space during the tournament with one visa accepted by all.

Horace Peterkin, president of the Jamaican Hotel and Tourism Association, said fans from countries like Australia that would not have needed a visa have likely been turned away by the hassle and $100 cost.

In the group stage, played in St Kitts, Trinidad, St Lucia, and Jamaica, sales have been strongest for matches involving the home-team West Indies and powerhouses like Australia and India. The top two clubs from each four-team group advance to the Super 8 round, set for Antigua, Grenada, Guyana and Barbados.

On the day of the final, Barbados expects 14 cruise ships to call on its port, with hundreds of yachts ferrying fans from nearby islands. Those without tickets can expect a carnival-like atmosphere with parties and big-screen televisions outside the stadium, said Terry Mayers, a spokesman for the Barbados organising committee.

One key factor in locals’ excitement, organisers say, will be the performance of the West Indies, which will seek its third championship since winning the first two World Cups in 1975 and 1979.

“We need for them to do well,” Morris said. “If we can get that kind of positive energy, hopefully it will translate into a positive turnout.”

… read the original article at The Hindu (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Business, CARICOM, Cricket, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

From BFP’s Archives: California Bans Dry-Cleaning Chemical – Barbados Government Withholds Secret Report On Louis Lynch School Environmental Disaster

Has anything really changed in the two years since Barbados Free Press first published this piece on January 30, 2007? The laundry burned down but there are still no rules about the use and disposal of chemicals in Barbados. What do you think, friends? Has anything really changed? Let us know your thoughts…

California Bans Same Toxic Chemical At Center Of Louis Lynch School Closing

According to YAHOO! News, California has banned the most common chemical used by dry cleaners – which is the same chemical at the heart of the closing of Louis Lynch Secondary School in Barbados.

Perchloroethylene is to be phased out next year in California after a 17-year battle to have the cancer-causing chemical replaced. California declared perchloroethylene a toxic chemical in 1991, and since that time further studies indicated that it causes esophageal cancer, lymphoma, cervical and bladder cancer. The solvent, which has a strong, sweet odor, also can affect the central nervous system. (Yahoo! News article link here)

This same toxic chemical was found in the ground at the Louis Lynch School and resulted in calls for the resignation of the Barbados Government officials in April of 2006. At that time, Prime Minister Owen Arthur and other government ministers also came under criticism for refusing to shut down the school after years of staff and students reporting health problems that they believed were linked to a nearby dry-cleaning company. Citizens also presented Government and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) with a letter of complaint and petition bearing 1 500 signatures protesting continued classes at the school.

Barbados Government Withholds Studies On Closed School

The Barbados Union of Teachers and other responsible citizens have been calling for the release of all epidemiological and environmental studies performed in relation to the Louis Lynch Secondary School. The Government of Barbados has been withholding a major study since August, 2006 and has not released the report despite seven months of ongoing promises. Most recently on January 2, 2007, Minister of Education Anthony Wood said he was “not in a position to comment” on the Louis Lynch reports.

Typical Government Elitist, Arrogant Behaviour: Deny Citizens Access To Information They Paid For

Why withhold the Louis Lynch studies? Hey, this is Barbados – there are so many reasons to deny citizens access to information they have paid for …

- To protect government officials and ministers who might be seen as responsible for the mess.

- To protect the dry-cleaning company from liability. (Golly gee – I wonder who owns the dry-cleaning company?)

- To protect the property values of nearby businesses. (Golly gee – I wonder who owns the nearby businesses?)

- To conceal the fact that Barbados has no environmental laws concerning the use or disposal of toxic chemicals like perchloroethylene.

Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Environment, Politics & Corruption

Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Biography: Infidel

ayaan-hirsi-barbados-infidel.jpg

From Booker Rising…

The autobiography is called Infidel, which is a term that some Muslims have called the former-Muslim-turned-atheist. The Somali-Dutch, moderate-conservative feminist and former parliamentarian who now lives in D.C. and works for the conservative American Enterprise Institute, follows The Caged Virgin, which focused on Islamic sexism. Publishers Weekly states: “In this suspenseful account of her life and her internal struggle with her Muslim faith, she discusses how these views were shaped by her experiences amid the political chaos of Somalia and other African nations, where she was subjected to genital mutilation and later forced into an unwanted marriage.

While in transit to her husband in Canada, she decided to seek asylum in the Netherlands, where she marveled at the polite policemen and government bureaucrats. Ali is up-front about having lied about her background in order to obtain her citizenship, which led to further controversy in early 2006, when an immigration official sought to deport her and triggered the collapse of the Dutch coalition government. Apart from feelings of guilt over van Gogh’s death, her voice is forceful and unbowed—like Irshad Manji, she delivers a powerful feminist critique of Islam informed by a genuine understanding of the religion.”

… original story at Booker Rising (link here).

posted by shona

I read “The Trouble With Islam Today” by Irshad Manji. I ordered this Ali book.

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Filed under Africa, Barbados, Culture & Race Issues, Religion

Barmy Army: “Cricket World Cup Barbados Might Be The Biggest Non-Event In Cricket History”

More Cricket World Cup “Oh Oh”

England’s “Barmy Army” is just about the most fanatical group of Cricket supporters in the world (next to the fans at Hercules Bar, Oistins, of course). But the Barmy Army might be in a bit of trouble. It seems that they booked some 800 hotel rooms in Barbados for Cricket World Cup.

How many remain unsold? A whole bunch…

Excerpt from Times Online…

Yet, of 800 hotel bedrooms booked (by Barmy Army) in Barbados for the tournament, only 200 had been sold by Christmas. “That has improved now but we were getting desperate — this might be the biggest non-event in cricket history,” Cooray said. “The pricing has taken the ordinary traveller out of the market. Staging the tournament on nine different islands adds to the problems and I think the grounds will be full only when West Indies are playing.”

Bennion said that his firm’s occupancy rates for the World Cup are running at 55 to 60 per cent. “The way the authorities have gone about pricing the tickets is killing the operation. I think it is a crime,” he said.

“As an official tour operator we are obliged to operate under tight restrictions and I presume we would lose deposits. England supporters have paid £3,000-£5,000 to go out for the Ashes and I don’t know whether they will be able to afford to go to the World Cup as well. I know a lot of hoteliers are concerned.”

… read the entire article at Times Online: Barmy Army Left Counting Cost Of Disastrous Ashes Tour

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Cricket, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

Massive Increase In Airfares Threatens New Airline

Adrian Loveridge Talks About The LIAT/Caribbean Star Merger

Is There A Business Plan? St. Lucia’s Tourism Minister Hasn’t Seen It.

I have stayed silent on the proposed LIAT/Caribbean Star ‘merger’ until now because I honestly want at least one commercially driven Caribbean airline to evolve out of the discussions.

Intra-Caribbean travel has been one of the very few success stories for Barbados over the last ten years and the only significant market that has experienced above-inflation growth.

As someone who has championed intra-regional travel for more three decades, I would caution those now managing LIAT, the Caribbean Star airlines to review the massive increases in their fare structure.

The substantially higher airfares now being offered both by LIAT and Caribbean Airlines will be in my humble opinion entirely counter-productive and will not in anyway help the airlines achieve profitability.

Many industry watchers anticipate a downturn in visitor arrivals immediately after the Cricket World Cup from our largest single market, the United Kingdom. Any deterrent to encouraging further travel within the region is going to have a significant effect on the viability of the industry this summer.

I was also surprised to hear Allen Chastenet, the Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organisation and newly appointed Minister of Tourism in St. Lucia state that he had not seen LIAT’s latest business plan.

It is in my opinion unreasonable to continually expect the taxpayers to pump money into any entity unless it is explained to them exactly how they are going to redress years of sustained losses losses.

Adrian Loveridge

29 January 2007

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Politics & Corruption, Traveling and Tourism

DLP Leader David Thompson – Sugar Words At Heroes Square But Remains Silent On Integrity & Conflict Of Interest Legislation

Same Old, Same Old.

More of the same – fine words that mean nothing without action.

The Nation News: Stop The Rot!

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

Unanswered Questions In Barbados: How Were Sophia’s Dead Babies “Disposed Of” By Queen Elizabeth Hospital? Were They Sold For Revenue?

QEH Spokesperson Says “Everything Is OK – Go Away. Nothing To See Here”

Barbados Government Says “We’re Going To Be The Stem-Cell Capital Of The World”

In a story carried by The Nation News on January 15, 2006, Sophia Kinch related how she had given birth to twin daughters at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and how the dead or dying babies were taken from her without any explanation and “disposed of” (the term used by the hospital spokesman).

Sophia Kinch has been trying unsuccessfully for a six weeks now to get some answers as to when the children died, what caused their deaths and what happened to their bodies.

After carrying the initial story, The Nation News hasn’t followed up – which is the usual method of operation for media in this town, especially considering that The Nation News has obviously been recruited as part of a massive good-publicity campaign currently being mounted by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Government.

Unanswered Questions In A Country That Has Embraced The Body Parts Trade

In a quest for cash, the Government of Barbados has welcomed the stem-cell cosmetic procedures industry without first establishing the necessary regulations and accountability procedures that more civilized countries insist upon. Of course, that is why organizations like the Institute For Regenerative Medicine have to look to countries like Barbados in the first place – because they are unable to establish such clinics in Britain or the USA. In Barbados, cash is king and the clinics can pretty much do as they please.

Fetal Tissue & Dead Newborns Now A Valuable Commodity

As revealed in many news articles worldwide, fetal tissue and body parts are now a valuable commodity with a highly developed global infrastructure in place to collect, buy, sell and distribute the human tissues. There have been serious allegations by Swiss Members of the European Parliament that organized crime interests in Eastern Europe are paying women to become pregnant for the purpose of aborting their babies to feed this body parts and stem cell trade. There have also been serious allegations that in some cases, live newborns have been stolen from their mothers to feed this gruesome worldwide network.

All this is because fetuses and recently dead newborns are now valuable. What used to be something to be “disposed of” is now in many cases providing significant revenue flows to hospitals and other medical facilities.

Barbados has no laws in place to regulate this practice, and no civilian oversight or public accountability structures in place to monitor just how far the Barbados Government and the medical industry take our country down this road.

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Are Bajan Aborted Fetuses & Dead Newborns Sold To Provide Cash – Or Is This Revenue Steam Being Ignored?

Barbados Labour Party Candidate George Griffith (photo above) is the director of Barbados’ largest abortion provider – the Barbados Family Planning Association. Mr. Griffith is also on the Board of Directors for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (An unethical conflict of interest if there ever was one.)

Because of his twin positions in the abortion industry and with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Mr. Griffiths probably has more knowledge than any other person as to the fate of Sophia’s babies and the sale of aborted fetuses and newborn body parts in Barbados.

In point form…

1/ The abortion industry worldwide is gearing up to turn a disposal problem (aborted fetuses) into cashflow. This is happening all over, and still there is such a shortage of fetuses for stem cell uses that women are being paid to become pregnant and abort in Eastern Europe.

2/ Barbados is fully committed to its leading position in the stem cell industry – which uses aborted fetuses and newborns’ cells.

3/ The sale of aborted fetuses would provide a significant source of revenue to the Barbados Family Planning Association and/or the Queen Elizabeth Hospital - so much so that it would be difficult for Executive Director and BLP Candidate George Griffith to ignore such a potential revenue stream.

4/ Barbados has no laws in place against the sale of aborted fetuses or dead newborns. To the contrary, Barbados encourages stem cell use and experimentation.

5/ There would seem to be no moral reservations for the sale of aborted Bajan fetuses by the organization that produced them in the first place. Indeed, Mr. Griffiths could probably justify his position that it would be more “moral” to make use of the aborted fetuses than to burn or bury them.

6/ If it is the position of the BFPA or of the Government that aborted Bajan fetuses are not to be supplied for use in cosmetic stem cell clinics, this would seem to be more of a political position than a moral one.

7/ So once again… we want to know, Mr. Griffith… Are we? For how much? To whom?

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Twins Query

(From The Nation News January 15, 2007 link here)

JUST OVER A MONTH after giving birth to twin daughters at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), Sophia Kinch (photo above) says she does not know what has become of them.

The St Christopher, Christ Church woman told the DAILY NATION yesterday she went into labour at the QEH sometime after 10 p.m. on December 2 and gave birth to the girls that same night. “They cleaned them up, put clips on their navels and placed them on my stomach. I actually felt them move. In fact they kind of tickled my stomach,” she said.

Kinch, 33, said she was later escorted to a bathroom by a nurse for additional cleaning. On returning to the bed, she added, the babies were not there. “I asked for them and the nurse said they were gone,” she recalled.

Queried as to whether the nurse had said they had “died” or were “dead”, Kinch responded that the nurse merely said “gone”. She was later admitted to Ward B4 before eventually being discharged on December 4.

Kinch said she was seven months pregnant at the time of the deliveries, pointing out that she first attended a private doctor in early July 2006, when she was six-weeks into her pregnancy.

“No one at the hospital ever explained to me what happened to my babies. I never saw them after being taken into the bathroom. I have been through pregnancies before and knew what was going on around me. When I gave birth. I was fully conscious,” she said.

The self-employed mother of three added: “If they died I have a right as their mother to see them. I have the right to bury them. I have a right to at least be told something about what will happen to their bodies. The hospital cannot just get rid of them without telling me something. At this stage I honestly do not know if they are alive or dead.”

She explained that her mother, Gloria Kinch, and sister, Sharon Kinch, were at the QEH on the date of her deliveries and neither was shown the bodies of any babies.

The distraught woman said she and the babies’ father, Victor Adams, subsequently sought legal advice.

Yesterday, public relations consultant for the hospital, Ricardo Blackman, gave a totally different version.

While Kinch said she was more than seven months pregnant, Blackman said she was examined by a hospital consultant who told her she was 23 weeks pregnant and would lose the babies.

“This she clearly understood. Both babies died at birth. The patient was shown the babies, and, in keeping with normal procedure effecting premature delivery, both babies were disposed of,” he said.

Asked if the mother was given the option of disposing of the babies herself, Blackman said: “That does not come into play.”

Blackman confirmed the QEH had received correspondence from an attorney-at-law representing Kinch, and had responded to the lawyer indicating the matter was being investigated.

Attorney-at-law Desmond Sands told the DAILY NATION that having been retained by Kinch he wrote the QEH in early December on the matter, but had yet to receive a response.

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Filed under Abortion, Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

UPDATED: Strike Called Off. Original Story: British Airways Strike Looms – This Can’t Be Good For Barbados Tourism

UPDATED: Strike Called Off – Flights Back To Normal In Three Days

Reuters: BA Averts Strike With Last-Minute Union Deal 

British Airways Flight Cancellations Have Started

Even talk of a strike kills tourism as people don’t want to bet their two weeks annual vacation against predicting whether the union and management will be able to work things out. According to the Guardian, all BA flights for Tuesday and Wednesday have now been cancelled.

Let’s hope that flights will resume on Thursday.

The Guardian: BA In Last-Ditch Talks With Union As Strike Threatens Week Of Misery For Air Travellers

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Traveling and Tourism

Drug Wars: Barbados Swearingen C-26 Tiger Shark

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Barbados Tiger Shark Seldom Seen In Daylight

SHE is a Swearingen C-26 twin turboprop aircraft, painted flat dark green – almost black. The red mouth and white shark teeth painted under the cockpit hint at her mission – or more accurately, give a clue to the attitude of the men who fly her.

Unusual antennas protrude from the top and bottom of the fuselage. She is not that fast – the book says about 238 knots top end for the version flown by Barbados – but for her mission, the pilots of the Barbados Defense Force favour her more for her range and loiter time than speed.

The crew is a mixed bag – always BDF personnel in command, but her passengers can be from anywhere: CIA, DEA or FBI from America, SAS or NIS from the UK. We understand that a few South African friends took a ride last year during the workup for Cricket World Cup… or so the rumour goes on the flightline at Grantley Adams Airport.

Like all Swearingens she handles well in the air – a bit heavy on the roll axis as the ailerons are inset from the wingtips – but the pilot had better be awake on the landing during any sort of crosswind. Her narrow landing gear has embarassed more than one over-confident young lad.

Our Tiger Shark operates mostly at night, and the equipment allows the pilots and crew to see as well at night as in the day – maybe even better than during the day as the infrared cameras can pick up hot engines against the cold sea or sky many miles away. (See photo above) When she is throttled back at fifteen thousand feet at night, drug runners on the sea and in the air can’t hear or see her – but she is there… or, maybe not.

Besides being stupid, drug runners must have nerves of steel as it’s a crap shoot and the druggies never know if someone is watching or not until it is too late.

If you want to know what she’s all about, you can visit the US State Department link here. This is a photo of one of her  look-a-like cousins from Panama …

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Thanks to Airliners.Net for the photo and BFP reader “P” for finding it. 

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Filed under Aviation, Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

Albert Brandford Of The Nation News Mentions Election Financing – Hell Not Yet Frozen Over

After a year of The Barbados Free Press hammering away at the theme of transparency, election financing rules and the like, Albert Brandford of The Nation News has finally written a piece on election financing that focuses almost exclusively on the US Presidential campaign – that mentions the word “transparency” and election financing in the context of “The American system is falling apart, what do you think?”

Nothing specific about Barbados campaign financing. No in depth analysis of who supports which political party in Barbados. No examples of any of the many conflicts of interest that any Bajan school-child can list.

For the “better half a loaf than nothing” crowd, we offer the opinion that there are not even a few crumbs on the floor for the dogs to lick up. By the way – we don’t fault Mr. Brandford at all, and we can imagine what he had to go through just to publish the bland piece he did.

To The Nation News, we say “Not good enough by half”

Judge for yourself…

JUST AS SOME OF US were trying to revive the debate on election campaign financing here, the “world’s greatest experiment in democracy” may be about to scuttle a system designed to “rid politics of the corrupting influence of money”.

Two of the most influential newspapers in the United States reported this week that the public financing system for presidential campaigns, introduced in the wake of the Watergate scandal, may be in its death throes following the formal announcement of the candidacy of leading Democratic contender, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Both the New York Times and the Washington Post reported that Clinton had become the first candidate since the programme began in 1976 to forego public financing for the primary and general election campaigns, thereby avoiding having to abide by strict spending limits imposed by the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

… continue reading the full article at The Nation News (link here).

It is not about how much the campaign costs – it is all about who provides the money and for what purpose.

Again, we call upon both the DLP and the governing BLP…

We call upon the ruling majority party – the Barbados Labour Party – to immediately introduce Election Financing and Disclosure Legislation – and to also immediately introduce Conflict of Interest and Integrity legislation. The BLP has a majority – they could make it happen tomorrow.

We also call upon the DLP – Democratic Labour Party to support the immediate introduction of Election Financing and Disclosure Legislation – and Conflict of Interest and Integrity Legislation.

Ladies and gentlemen of the BLP and DLP: do that and you can criticize anyone you want about unethical behaviour. Otherwise, sit down and shut up.

We citizens have had enough.

8 Comments

Filed under Barbados, News Media, Politics & Corruption

Whoopee! Barbados Goes Slow On Promised Public Worker Backpay

It has been over a month since, with great fanfare, the Government announced that backpay would be given to thousands of public servants.

The Nation News – that publicity arm of the government – celebrated the exquisitely timed pre-Christmas announcement in this manner…

WHOOPEE!

Two weeks before Christmas, this is perhaps the best way to describe the joyful exclamation of thousands of public workers – both serving and retired.

When the Yuletide season is over, they will still have something to look forward to early in the new year – backpay and increased wages and salaries. (Nation News story New Year Bonus!)

Working for the government in Barbados is sometimes like running your own little shop. You can never be sure just when your main client will pay up!

OK… Christmas is over. Now where are the promised raises and the backpay?

33 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

About That Barbados Internet Outage

We’ve heard all kinds of reasons for the almost-island-wide shutdown in hi-speed internet service two days ago – so many different stories that we don’t know what the truth is.

Here’s what one little birdie says…

The ‘spottiness’ being experienced with our C&W ADSL hi-speed internet connection service is due to a few known bandwidth hogs who suck up 65% of the bandwidth, due to downloading movies (200+ GIGAbytes each!), illegally, movie after movie, while the rest of us C&W customers suffer the consequence.

Although the problem is known, and the offenders are known and identifiable, nothing is being done to alleviate this problem, other than token amounts of capacity being added now and then, which is of course immediately absorbed (in other words, C&W coulda saved the money!).

IF illegal activity is being conducted via C&W’s services, and they are making the conscious decision of doing nothing about it or are dragging their feet about it, does this not make C&W now subject to a charge of aiding and abetting in this crime of copyright infringement?

If the known movie pirates need to have their services terminated, the thing to do, is to DO SO – withdraw service from them completely. Terminate them – Withdraw their ADSL service totally, and make thousands of ordinary law-abiding customers a lot happier than they are now.

What is the truth?

Like everything else on this island… it may take a while to discover the truth, but it can usually be found if you look hard enough. After all, it is a small island and folks do so love to talk…

26 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Politics & Corruption

Man Apparently Shot In Back Of Head By Police As He Was Running Away. Police Say “It Was A Confrontation”

barbados-police-shooting.jpg

Two Questions For The Commissioner Of The Royal Barbados Police Force:

1/ Under what circumstances is a Barbados police officer allowed to shoot a person in the back of the head?

2/ What kind of pea-shooters are we issuing to our police when a person can survive a bullet in the back of the head?

From The Nation News…

ST MICHAEL MAN detained in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) with a bullet lodged in the back of the head is claiming he was wrongfully shot by police.

From his bedside in Ward A3 on Thursday, Stefan Griffith, 26, said he was riding a bicycle along Wilkinson Road, St Michael, on Tuesday night when he observed a jeep blocking his path.

“The lights [headlamps] were bright and I didn’t know who was driving the jeep so I dropped the bicycle and started to run.

“When I looked back I saw this policeman with a gun in his hand running behind me. He [policeman] was shouting, ‘Stop! Stop!’ and all of a sudden I hear pax, and then I feel a burning at the back of my head,” he said.

Griffith, who now has blurred vision and swelling at the front of the face, said he had done nothing wrong.

His mother Janice Griffith, a 41-year-old worker with the Sanitation Service Authority, said a neurosurgeon who examined her son at the hospital said in addition to a fracture and a bullet lodged at the back of the head, there were also metal fragments in his brain…

… read the entire article at The Nation News (link here)

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

BLP Blog Keeps Telling Bigger Lies About BFP

Says Barbados Free Press “Allegedly Managed And Operated By Close Friends Of The DLP” – Fails To State That BFP Called Thompson and DLP As Big Thieves As The BLP Piggies If They Did What Is Alleged

The Government’s Barbados Labour Party BLP Blog just published an article DLP Gambling Deal, wherein the BLP states that Barbados Free Press is “Allegedly Managed And Operated By Close Friends Of The DLP”…

AND THEN goes on to quote a comment posted on the Barbados Free Press where a “Fundel” alleged that DLP Leader David Thompson had met with Donald Trump and brokered a deal to give Trump casino gambling rights in Barbados in exchange for campaign support.

What The Deceptive Scallywags At The BLP Blog neglect to mention is that Barbados Free Press wrote and article on this very subject (See Barbados Prime Minister Donald Trump?) and said in part…

“… We already have legalized gambling in Barbados in the form of a slot machine casino in a GEMS hotel under the BLP, and a national government approved lottery.

The issue is not whether or not Barbados will have casino gambling – that has already been decided and implemented and administered by the BLP government. The BLP Blog just seems to be upset about which games and types of casinos are allowed.

The issue is whether or not it should be legal for a political party to sell their influence. We agree it should not be legal for a political party to accept foreign money upon promise of performance if elected. If Thompson and the DLP did this, they are no different than the BLP thieves.

We call upon the ruling majority party – the Barbados Labour Party – to immediately introduce Election Financing and Disclosure Legislation – and to also immediately introduce Conflict of Interest and Integrity legislation. The BLP has a majority – they could make it happen tomorrow.

We also call upon the DLP – Democratic Labour Party to support the immediate introduction of Election Financing and Disclosure Legislation – and Conflict of Interest and Integrity Legislation.

Ladies and gentlemen of the BLP and DLP: do that and you can criticize anyone you want about unethical behaviour. Otherwise, sit down and shut up.

We citizens have had enough.

Message to the BLP: If you are so concerned about the DLP’s Thompson receiving election support from Trump – you have a majority government and (assuming the allegation is true) you can stop Trump and the DLP tomorrow by introducing Campaign Financing and Disclosure Laws.

Your call, Prime Minister! “

… end of quote from BFP article Barbados Prime Minister Donald Trump?

About BLP Blog’s Pathetic Traffic

What a joke! I just did the math on the daily traffic at the BLP Blog … and it looks like they’ve averaged a piddly 86 visitors per day since their inception. Remove the DLP government members who visit their own blog and you don’t have much left.

OK fellow BLP Bloggers – we’ll link again to your propaganda site, but it looks like very few of your online constituents are bothering much with the BLP blog. Golly, I wonder why that is?

Posted by Cliverton in a most foul mood. I enjoy an open debate any day with anyone and I hate to see open lies. When the BLP raises a question or an issue with us, we meet it head on. When any citizen asks a question of the BLP or their BLP Blog, they ignore the question.

Well, I guess when you are the BLP government or their blog, you have to ignore the questions!

8 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Politics & Corruption