Daily Archives: October 10, 2008

Rihanna – Chris Brown – Marriage or Engagement Party, Las Vegas, Friday October 17th?

Wedding Bells For Rihanna & Chris?

Wedding Bells For Rihanna & Chris?

Rumour Mill Buzzing About Our Girl

Rihanna and Chris Brown have invited family and friends for a private reception in Las Vegas on Friday, October 17, 2008. This according to MediaTakeout.com, but no one can confirm if the occasion is an engagement party or the wedding.

MediaTakeout.com: SECRET WEDDING??? RIHANNA AND CHRIS BROWN INVITE CELEBRITY FRIENDS TO LAS VEGAS NEXT WEEKEND!!!

So let’s get those rumshop rumours going folks!

You know a few of you on this island have to know the inside scoop…  What have you heard?

Update: Some claiming the rumour isn’t true… (link)

Rihanna and Chris to tour New Zealand & Australia together starting October 27th … (link)

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Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Rihanna

Barbados Rape Trial Hears That Ben Freeman Was Photographed At Time Of Rape – Almond Beach Resort

Ben Freeman Rape Photo (Original Here)

Ben Freeman Rape Photo (For original story see link at bottom)

UPDATE: Ian Bourne at Bajan Reporter has been following the trial closely and says the above photo shows a sexual act consented to by the girl. Ian also has some additional information in a very worthwhile article: 2 Barbadian Trials, 2 Reactions – Ben Freeman & Jippy Doyle.

Prosecutor Leacock Says The Facts Of The Case Are Straightforward

Former Emmerdale star Ben Freeman raped a 16-year-old British tourist by a hotel pool after she “cried and begged him not to,” a court in Barbados has been told.

The distraught girl’s father found her “crying hysterically,” and fists flew as he confronted Freeman, the court heard on the opening day of the actor’ s trial on the Caribbean island.

The schoolgirl, who had just turned 16, met Freeman at a club at the upmarket hotel where both were staying with their respective families, said the Director of  Public Prosecutions, Charles Leacock…

… continue reading this article at the Daily Mail (link here)

Sergeant Paul Vaughan (left) & Charles Leacock - Barbados Director Of Public Prosecutions

Unholy Alliance: Sergeant Paul Vaughan (left) & Charles Leacock - Barbados Director Of Public Prosecutions

For our foreign visitors… to learn more about the troubling background of the Director of Public Prosecutions Charles Leacock – see the following Barbados Free Press articles…

Sept 18, 2008 – Corrupt Director Of Public Prosecutions Must Now Prosecute His Corrupt Police Friend For Accepting Bribes!!!

Nov 5, 2007 – We Publish All The Documents: Barbados Director Of Public Prosecutions, Police Sgt Paul Vaughan And The Blank Search Warrant Scandal

The Sun: Ben Freeman Barbados Rape Photo

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Filed under Barbados, Celebrities, Crime & Law, Police, Political Corruption

Let’s Discuss Barbados Draft Freedom Of Information Law

This article will stay pinned at the top of the blog for the next few weeks to facilitate discussion about the recently released draft Freedom of Information Act.

Scroll down past this article for new articles of all types.

Please join in the discussion. Our children are depending upon us.

Here is where to obtain a copy of the draft FOI, and the schedule for public hearings and submissions… Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados

Barbados Government Releases Freedom Of Information Draft – PLAGIARISED FROM WIKIPEDIA!

The Barbados Government of Prime Minister David Thompson yesterday released a draft of their proposed Freedom of Information Act by placing the same in PDF format on the Barbados Government Portal (above).

Here are the first two, and last, paragraphs from the first page…

Barbados Government FOI Draft

Barbados Government FOI Draft - First Page

And where have we read those words before? Oh yes, Wikipedia!

Now That We Have Your Attention…

Last January during the last few days of the election, then Opposition Leader David Thompson presented his Integrity Initiatives to the voters, contained in three documents…

1/ “The Ministerial Code – A Proposal”
2/ “A Model Freedom Of Information Law”
3/ “Principles Underlying The Legal Framework For Integrity In Public Life In Barbados”

Barbados Free Press then revealed that the Freedom of Information proposal had been copied verbatim from the World Bank website only a few days beforehand, and that the other two documents had also been largely copied from online sources.

While we questioned the sincerity of Thompson’s last minute conversion to the Church of Integrity, about the copy and paste we said…

There is nothing wrong with that, my friends. So many countries have implemented Freedom of Information (FoI) and Integrity Laws that much of the standard wordings and concepts have been tested and revised over the years and had all the legal bugs worked out. That’s a good reason for starting with the World Bank version of an FoI – but that is only a start. Presumably a DLP government would carefully consider any changes that should be made to tailor the document for Barbados.”

A Long Road To Get Here – A Longer Road To Come

After David Thompson presented his last-minute quick cut and paste from the internet, promising to implement the Ministerial Code immediately and the other bits within 100 days, the DLP was elected and it was now Prime Minister David Thompson. The promise of a Ministerial Code was tossed aside when his Cabinet balked, and the only time he dealt with conflicts of interest in the first 100 days was, unfortunately, to borrow a business jet owned by a government contractor!

So here we are almost ten months later presented with a draft Freedom of Information Act and – FINALLY – a schedule of public meetings and contact information so citizens can make their views known to the invisible committee that cut and pasted this legislation together.

The “Consultation” Process Finally Revealed – Last Minute, Quick And Dirty

The government just released the draft by posting it on the internet on the 9th. I haven’t seen anything in the papers – and the promised copies to be placed in the post office weren’t there today and probably won’t be tomorrow. There was no press release.

… But the town hall meetings start in five days!

This process could have been revealed months ago. The town hall meetings could have been scheduled months ago. We could have had an ongoing debate in the public forum for the last three months… but nope, the government intends to have all public input wrapped up in three weeks.

Nothing for nine months – no discussion, no website, no contact information for the secret committee – and then, WHAM! The public has five days to obtain, digest, research and comment upon the draft.

It looks suspiciously like the government wants to SAY they had public input, without actually providing citizens with the time, resources or the knowledge to seriously discuss the issues.

Where Are The Holes?

Let us get one thing straight about the DLP Thompson government and integrity legislation: we don’t trust them because so far we have had to drag them kicking and screaming every step of the way. But ok, this is the schedule that has been thrown at us and it is what we must work with.

The danger is this: it is highly likely that the government has carefully crafted the Freedom of Information to leave holes the size of transport trucks. Our job is to find those holes and reveal them to the public before the process goes too far.

In the next few weeks, we will discuss the issues and compare the Barbados draft with FOI legislation in other countries. This draft legislation is only the first step in a process that should build a new legal and cultural foundation to address the corruption that has become endemic in our government.

Please join in the discussion. Our children are depending upon us.

Contact & Public Meeting Information (From the Barbados Government)

The Bill can be accessed online at http://www.gov.bb. (Download PDF here)

Persons providing electronic feedback should do so at freedomofinfobill@barbados.gov.bb. Copies of the Bill are also being placed at Post Offices islandwide.

Responses to the Bill, whether electronic or hard copy, should be forwarded no later than Friday, 31st October 2008 to:

(i) freedomofinfobill@barbados.gov.bb

or

(ii) Permanent Secretary (Special Assignments)
Prime Minister’s Office Government Headquarters Bay Street St. Michael

or

(iii) Fax Number: 228-8234

The following Town Hall Meetings are also being held in order to provide additional opportunities for persons to provide feedback and inputs.

Wednesday, 15th October 2008 The Combermere School, Waterford, St. Michael

Wednesday, 22nd October 2008 The Alexandra School, Queen Street, St. Peter

Wednesday, 29th October 2008 The Deighton Griffith School, Kingsland, Christ Church

Wednesday, 5th November 2008 The Princess Margaret School, Six Roads, St. Philip

NOTE: Comments are now closed on this article

All previous comments have been transferred to the article: Let’s Discuss Barbados Draft Freedom Of Information Law

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

Barbados Free Press Welcomes Visitor Number Four Million!

Not Bad For A Nothing Little Part-Time Blog From Barbados…

Excuse us for bragging a bit, but we’ve just welcomed our four millionth visitor since we started Barbados Free Press in January of 2006.

Yesterday at 8:18:33pm, our special visitor arrived from Madrid, Spain via a link from Google where they had searched the term “Barbados accounting firms”. That search brought them to our article Barbados Accounting Firm Price Waterhouse Coopers Pays BDS$56,000 For One Phone Call!

After reading the article, our Spanish (?) visitor stayed for another twenty-three minutes reading this and that.

Interestingly enough, when Cliverton saw how our special visitor had arrived, he Google-searched “Barbados accounting firms” and discovered that out of 142,000 results, our little article was Number One! Then he tried various Google portals in countries around the world and got the same results. Which means…

If you Google search “Barbados accounting firms” anywhere in the world, your first result will take you to Barbados Free Press !!!

Like we said, not bad for a nothing little part-time blog.

The exponential growth that we saw during the run-up to the election last January moderated after March, but visitor numbers continue to increase every quarter. Looking back, we see that it took us almost 23 months from January 18, 2006 to January 1, 2008 to record two million visitors, but only a little over nine months from January 2, 2008 to October 8, 2008 to record our second two million visitors.

About half our traffic comes from outside Barbados, but when visitor numbers spike because something big is happening in Barbados or on our blog, the additional visitors are usually from Barbados. That tells us that even folks who don’t visit us every day grab a computer and get online to see what the blogs are saying when important news is breaking on the island.

And THAT little fact is very interesting, indeed… because it means that citizens don’t trust the Barbados media to deliver the whole story to them when it is something important. Folks want to see what the blogs are saying.

Perhaps our friends at Barbados Underground and the other blogs can check their stats to see if they find the same patterns in traffic.

That’s our bragging for today, friends. I hope you don’t mind that we brag a bit, because we still realise that BFP would be nothing without you.

Here are the articles we wrote for visitors two and three million…

June 2, 2008 – Barbados Free Press Welcomes Visitor Number 3 Million!

January 1, 2008 – Updated: Our 2 Millionth Visitor Is From Switzerland

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Filed under Barbados, Blogging, Freedom Of The Press, News Media