The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Saint Lucia on Wednesday 17 May, 2017 presented a cheque of USD $40,000.00 to the Caribbean Hospitality and Tourism Training Institute, CHTTi. The amount was the second and final installment of grant funding from the Republic of China (Taiwan) totaling USD $100,000.00 to the Institute for the financing of its training programs. The cheque was accepted by Minister for Economic Development Hon. Guy Joseph who presented it to Mrs. Amanda Matoorah-John and Mr. Mervin-Alwyn Agiste of the CHTTi. Mr Agiste, the Institute’s Junior Program Manager, expressed immense gratitude to Ambassador Douglas C.T. Shen, his Government and his People for the investment in the future of Saint Lucia. He told the ceremony that, “ Without the support of the Government of the Republic of China ( Taiwan) along with that of the Government of Saint Lucia, the change that CHTTi is making in the lives of so many of our youth would not be possible. We continue to pledge our intent to do all that is necessary to ensure that the most positive and long lasting of results are achieved”. Since opening its doors January 30, 2017 Youth apprentices from across Saint Lucia have been engaged in intense training at the Caribbean Hospitality and Tourism Training Institute (CHTTi). The institute ensures that Apprentices have the knowledge and resources to push their limits, maximize their learning, and develop their talents, through a supportive and nurturing learning environment with industry experienced and qualified lecturers. At the southern location, nearly fifteen weeks of training is winding down in three key areas; Stewardship (Housekeeping), Food and Beverage Service and Mixology Arts (Bartending).

Specialist Meric Greenbaum, left, and trader James Conti work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Stocks are opening lower on Wall Street as banks and industrial companies fall.

The growing political drama in Washington rattled Wall Street Wednesday, knocking the Dow Jones industrial average down more than 370 points and giving the stock market its biggest single-day slump in eight months. Investors worried that the headline-fueled political turmoil that has enveloped the White House may hinder President Donald Trump’s plans to cut taxes, roll back government regulations and other aspects of his pro-business agenda. The steep drop ended an unusually long period of calm for the markets, which had been hovering near all-time highs. Financial stocks, which had soared in the months since the election, declined the most as bond yields fell sharply. Bonds, utilities and gold rose as traders shunned riskier assets. The dollar fell. “When you are at these valuations, the market has to reassess whether or not the agenda is actually going to be implemented,” said Quincy Krosby, market strategist at Prudential Financial. “What you’re seeing is a classic run toward safety.” The Standard & Poor’s 500 index had its biggest drop since September, sliding 43.64 points, or 1.8 percent, to 2,357.03. The Dow lost 372.82 points, or 1.8 percent, to 20,606.93. The Nasdaq composite index, coming off setting two consecutive record highs, gave up 158.63 points, or 2.6 percent, to 6,011.24. Small-company stocks fell more than the rest of the market. The Russell 2000 index sank 38.79 points, or 2.8 percent, to 1,355.89. Those companies would stand to benefit even more than large ones from corporate tax cuts Trump is proposing. They also had risen sharply in the months following the election. The sell-off snapped an unusually long period of calm after hitting a series of record highs. On Tuesday the S&P 500, the benchmark favored by professional investors, marked its 15th straight day of moving up or down by less than 0.5 percent. It closed at its latest record high on Monday. Bond prices rose sharply. The 10-year Treasury yield fell to 2.21 percent from 2.33 percent late Tuesday, a large move. The seeds of Wednesday’s steep market sell-off were present late Tuesday, when a published report revealed that Trump allegedly made a personal appeal to now-fired FBI Director James Comey to drop the bureau’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. The White House denied the report. Trump had already been facing pointed questions about his discussions with Russian diplomats during which he was reported to have disclosed classified information. “The controversy is not new, but this one really seems to be sticking,” said Erik Davidson, chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank. “The Trump economic program is either going to be delayed by this turn of events or possibly be derailed, that’s why investors are acting the way they are.” The latest headlines ratcheted up the market’s unease. The VIX index, a measure of how much volatility investors expect in stocks, rose to its highest level since April 13. Investors shifted into U.S. government bonds, pushing yields lower, and into gold. The precious metal jumped 1.8 percent, climbing $22.30 to settle at $1,258.70 per ounce.

One lucky second-year University student has the chance to win a scholarship to help advance their studiesfrom Soca on the Seas. Soca on the Seas is an annual Carnival event held aboard Royal Caribbean's Treasure of the Seas. The event debuted last year when it was held for three days. In 2017, the event will be held over five days followingthe Miami Carnival. In a release, Soca on the Seas said theybelieve that students pursuing studies in the creative industries such as music, art, fashion and theatre should be supported in every way possible. "The creativesector is a dynamic one that requires a developmental approach to ensuring its sustainability. This industry provides employment to thousands of people who have a passion and a vision for arts and culture. In this regard, we would like to contribute to the development of this industry through education and propelling young people to the next level of success is music, art, fashion and theatre," the release said. The scholarship winner will receive a maximum of US$2000 and must be at the start of his/her second year. The scholarship will be offered to tertiary level students pursuing Bachelor of Science Degrees in music, art, theatre, and fashion. The scholarship is open to students who are citizens or citizens by descent of “full member” countries which comprise CARICOM: Antigua & Barbuda; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Haiti; Jamaica; Montserrat; Saint Kitts & Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Vincent & The Grenadines; Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. Proof of nationality must be submitted in the form of a copy of birth certificate or other relevant and recognised national document. For eligibility, students must attain a GPA of at least 3.5 and provide a copy of their transcript and must submit an essay on the following subject matter:“How Can the Creative Industries Impact Meaningfully In Economic Diversification”. The essaymust be a minimum of 2,500 words and a maximum of 3,000 words. They are to be submitted by September 29, at 12 midnight to Ten essays will be shortlisted and the writers of these ten essays must submit a video recording (Maximum five minutes long) articulating their essay. A panelof judges will assess and award the scholarship to one student. The winner will be announced on the Soca On the Seas Cruise on October 12.

Photo of all the winning candidates in the Cayman Islands 2017 General Elections

The Caymanian people have spoken- And it is final! Long before the officialresults came in, a little after midnight,it was clear that Independent candidates were the big winners in the island’s 2017 general elections. Candidates who chose to ditch party affiliations secured the popular vote with, 7,026 ballots castin favour of them, which amounts to 44% of the overall votes in Wednesday’s elections. While 3,786 people casta vote for the Cayman Democratic Party (CDP),with the People’s Progressive Movement (PPM) doing marginally better with 4,909 persons casting a ballot for them. Official numbers released by the Elections Officerevealed 13 incumbents and six newcomers won 19 seats, which were contested for the first time as all single member districts. Cayman’s election night winners included a whopping nine (9) independent candidates, seven (7)PPM candidates and three (3) CDP candidates. See Cayman’s election winners along with the number of votes they secured below: West Bay West Bay North – Bernie Bush (CDP) Bush secured 436 votes which amounted to 54.23% of the vote. West Bay West – McKeeva Bush (CDP) Bush secured 605 votes which amounted to 71. 26% of the vote. West Bay Central – Capt. Eugene Ebanks (CDP) Ebanks secured 435 votes which amounted to 55. 98% of the vote. West Bay South – Tara Rivers (Ind) Rivers secured 534 votes which amounted to 53. 83% of the vote. George Town George Town North – Joey Hew (Progressives) Hew secured 402votes which amounted to 51. 08% of the vote. George Town West – David Wight (Progressives) Wight secured 350 votes which amounted to 40.84 % of the vote. George Town Central – Kenneth Bryan (Ind) Bryan secured 495 votes which amounted to 51. 83% of the vote. George Town South – Barbara Conolly (Progressives) Conolly secured 375 votes which amounted to 40. 67% of the vote. George Town East – Roy McTaggart (Progressives) McTaggart secured 410 votes which amounted to 45. 5% of the vote. Red Bay – Alden McLaughlin (Progressive) McLaughlin secured 478 votes which amounted to 56. 64% of the vote. Prospect – Austin Harris (Ind) Harris secured 466 votes which amounted to 54. 63% of the vote. Savannah – Anthony Eden (Ind) Eden secured 446 votes which amounted to 46.12% of the vote. Newlands – Alva Suckoo (Ind) Suckool secured 433 votes which amounted to 43% of the vote. Bodden Town West – Christopher Saunders (Ind) Saunders secured 380 votes which amounted to 34.86% of the vote. Bodden Town East – Dwayne Seymour (Ind) Seymour secured 427 votes which amounted to 37.86% of the vote. North Side – Ezzard Miller (Ind) Miller secured 201votes which amounted to 33.84% of the vote. East End – Arden McLean ( Ind) McLean secured 201 votes which amounted to 34.86% of the vote. Cayman Brac West and Little Cayman – Moses Kirkconnell (Progressives) Kirkconnell secured 272 votes which amounted to 45.95% of the vote. Cayman Brac East – Juliana O’Connor Connolly ( Progressives) Connolly secured 225votes which amounted to 55.15% of the vote.

Organisers of the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) haveannounce eZone as theofficial express delivery service provider for the sixth staging of the T20 competition. Based in Trinidad, eZone has been one of the Caribbean’s most reliable and sought after courier services. The services offered by eZone is one which is enjoyed by the Caribbean people and businesses alike. And CPL said the partnership will ensure that all logistical issues are handled without any problems, with regards to the shipping and clearing of teams and supporting teams’ equipment in a timely manner for the tournament, which will take place between August 4 and September 9. Commenting on the deal, Paul Pantin, eZone Director, said: "eZone, with over 15 years of experience connecting the islands of the Caribbean through our logistics network, is proud to partner with the Hero CPL for their upcoming T20 competition in 2017. eZone prides itself for its fast and efficient service, and will leverage this to assist the Hero CPL in moving all their teams and supporting equipment between the islands for every match." Barrie Corcoran, CFO of the Hero CPL, added: "Through its robust network of suppliers and affiliates spanning the Caribbean, UK and the USA, eZone will handle the safe passage, clearance and timely delivery of all cricketing equipment, uniforms and TV equipment to ensure that 2017 is the biggest party in sport. "Previously the Hero CPL had experienced difficulties, so bringing the logistics function under one solid roof is a win-win for all. Getting the professionals to handle the league's requirement and that of six franchises from Guyana to Jamaica just makes sense. It is eZone's core competence and the whole of the CPL family are really looking forward to working with Paul Pantin and the team at eZone for this year's tournament."

Members of the West Indies Women's team.

Members of the West Indies Women’s team heading to the ICC Women’s World Cup in the United Kingdom will assemble for a brief camp, starting on Friday in Barbados. Head coach Vasbert Drakes said the focus of the camp will primarily be team bonding, as the side had not been together since last November in India. “We are eager to get the group together,” said Drakes. “It’s an exciting line-up of players with a balance of established players, a couple of returnees and a group of four new faces. “This camp will enable the team management unit to spend valuable time with the players and start to build the desire for success in the team, as they get ready to face the challenges of the World Cup.” Drakes added: “It will be a good opportunity for us to re-create the strong team culture that was a hallmark of our side over the last two years as we worked very hard to qualify for the Women’s World Cup. “We want to help the new players integrate, while rekindling the camaraderie and relationships with the familiar faces, so that there is a healthy team environment in which everyone can focus on performance and ultimately being successful at the World Cup.” In addition to team building activities, the members of the squad will also be part of player development sessions, as well as a series of physical assessments during the five-day camp which precedes the team’s departure next Wednesday. On arrival in the UK, the team will have a 17-day training camp in Southampton, including practice matches against an England Women’s XI on June 6 at Loughborough and the Southern Vipers on June 9 at the Ageas Bowl before moving to the city of Leicester for the formal start of the Women’s World Cup programme. “We will have almost a month in the UK prior to our opening game in the World Cup to get the team into game mode,” said Drakes. “We will spend that time trying to get acclimatised to the conditions and being purposeful in our build-up to the tournament, so that we can significantly improve on our past performances and prepare to take on the World.” The Windies Women were runners-up at the previous Women’s World Cup in India, when Australia Women claimed their sixth title with a 114-run victory at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. Stafanie Taylor’s side earned automatic qualification to the Women’s World Cup following their fourth place finish in the ICC Women’s Championship – a tournament contested between the top eight sides in the World over the last two years. SQUAD Stafanie Taylor (Captain) Merissa Aguilleira Reniece Boyce Shamilia Connell Shanel Daley Deandra Dottin Afy Fletcher Quiana Joseph Kyshona Knight Hayley Matthews Anisa Mohammed Chedean Nation Akeira Peters Shakera Selman Felicia Walters Team Management Unit Vasbert Drakes (Head Coach) Ann Browne-John (Team Operations Manager) Ezra Moseley (Assistant Coach) Stuart Williams (Assistant Coach) Oba Gulston (Physiotherapist) Hector Martinez-Charles (Fitness Coordinator) Donald La Guerre (Performance Specialist) Trent Sargeant (Video Data Analyst) Adriel “Woody” Richard (Media Relations Coordinator)

People observe a minute silence in Westminster in London, Thursday, May 25, 2017, after the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande concert that left more than 20 people dead and many more injured, as it ended on Monday night at the Manchester Arena.

Britons faced stepped-up security, authorities pushed forward with raids they said were uncovering key evidence and a trans-Atlantic rift opened Thursday in the aftermath of a deadly concert bombing. The investigation of the Manchester Arena attack that killed 22 people extended across Europe and into Libya, where most of the suspected bomber’s family lived. Authorities in multiple countries worked to determine if Salman Abedi, who died in the blast, acted alone or with assistance from a sophisticated cell. After Abedi’s mother and three of his siblings were brought in for questioning, a Libyan official told of a final phone call he placed to his mother and brother just before the attack. On that call, he purportedly told his mother: “Forgive me,” said Ahmed bin Salem, a spokesman for the Special Deterrent Force. “He was giving farewell,” bin Salem added. The number of arrests in the U.K. ticked up to eight as British Transport Police said armed officers would begin patrols on some trains because of an increased threat of terrorism. Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said, without elaborating, that searches of suspects’ homes brought “very important” clues in the probe of Monday’s bombing at the close of an Ariana Grande show. But leaks from the investigation were creating a diplomatic mess. Manchester police have stopped sharing investigative information with the U.S. until they are guaranteed an end to media leaks, a British official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly. British Prime Minister Theresa May, arriving at a NATO summit in Brussels, said the countries’ partnership on defense and security was built on trust, but “part of that trust is knowing that intelligence can be shared confidently.” May discussed the matter privately with Trump later in the day. British officials were particularly angry over photos published by The New York Times showing remnants of a blue backpack which may have held the explosive, a 12-volt battery that apparently powered the device and a possible switch in the left hand of the alleged bomber that could have ignited it. But it wasn’t clear U.S. officials were the source of the images, which the Times defended as “neither graphic nor disrespectful of victims” and consistent with basic reporting “on weapons used in horrific crimes.” British security services were also upset that 22-year-old Abedi’s name was apparently leaked by U.S. officials while police in the U.K. continued withholding it and while raids were underway in Manchester and in Libya. Hopkins said the leaks “caused much distress for families that are already suffering terribly with their loss.” Trump on Thursday pledged to “get to the bottom” of the leaks, calling them “deeply troubling” and asking the Justice Department and other agencies to “launch a complete review of this matter.” Meanwhile, the investigation into the blast widened. Authorities chased possible links between Abedi and militants in Manchester, elsewhere in Europe, and in North Africa and the Middle East. They were exploring potential ties to Abdalraouf Abdallah, a Libyan jailed in the U.K. for terror offenses, and to Raphael Hostey, an Islamic State recruiter killed in Syria. Abedi’s family remained a focus, too, with a brother in England, his father and another brother in Libya among those being detained. Abedi’s father was allegedly a member of the al-Qaida-backed Libyan Islamic Fighting group in the 1990s — a claim he denies. An emerging portrait of the bomber remained complicated by competing assessments over whether Abedi held views that had sparked concern and attention before the bombing. Akram Ramadan, a member of the Libyan community in Manchester who attends the city’s Didsbury Mosque, said Abedi was banned from the mosque after he allegedly interrupted an imam’s anti-Islamic State sermon. “He stood up and started calling the imam — ’You are talking bollocks,’” Ramadan said. “And he gave a good stare, a threatening stare into the imam’s eyes.” Mohammed Fadl, a community leader, rejected that account. While Abedi’s family was well-known in Manchester, Abedi himself did not attend many gatherings, Fadl said. However, Fadl said he had heard Abedi’s father took his son’s passport away over concerns about his ties to alleged extremists and criminals. “Very few people in the community here were close to him, and therefore Salman’s fanaticism wasn’t something the community was aware of,” he said. In Libya, bin Salem said Abedi’s mother told investigators her son left for the U.K. four days before the attack after spending a month in Libya. Based on the account from a younger brother, investigators think Abedi used the internet to learn how to make a bomb and “seek victory for the Islamic State,” bin Salem said. The allegations clashed with what Abedi’s father said a day earlier in an interview with the AP. “We don’t believe in killing innocents,” Ramadan Abedi said before he was detained in Tripoli. Around the U.K., many fell silent Thursday for a late-morning minute in tribute to the victims.

Greek police experts search for evidence at the scene of an explosion site in Athens, on Thursday, May 25, 2017. A bomb exploded inside the car of former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos in central Athens on Thursday, wounding him and two Bank of Greece employees, officials said.

A letter bomb exploded inside the car of former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos in central Athens on Thursday, wounding him and two Bank of Greece employees, officials said. All three were described as being conscious and hospitalized in stable condition. “I unequivocally condemn the attack against Lucas Papademos,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras tweeted from his official account. “I wish a speedy recovery to him and the people who accompanied him.” Police were on alert to determine whether any other parcel bombs might have been sent out, and were checking postal and courier services. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, but Greek politicians have been targeted in the past by militant far-left and anarchist groups. Papademos, 69, who served as prime minister for six months in 2011-2012 and is also a former deputy governor of the European Central Bank, had been inside his car when the device detonated. Police haven’t officially confirmed reports that the blast was caused by a parcel bomb containing a small amount of explosives. But a police official, speaking on condition of anonymity because an official announcement hadn’t yet been made, said the explosion occurred when Papademos opened an envelope inside the car. Anti-terrorism police were at the hospital where Papademos was being treated in order to interview him on the details of the envelope. Another police official said one of the other two wounded in the blast told anti-terrorism police that he had handed Papademos the mail earlier, and that before doing so he had put it through an X-ray machine but that nothing suspicious had shown up. The police official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity because no official announcement had been made, said the injured man said a book had been among the mail, and authorities were investigating whether the explosive device could have been inside that package. Earlier this year, a group called Conspiracy Cells of Fire, claimed responsibility for sending parcel bombs to the German Finance Ministry and the Paris office of the International Monetary Fund, where a small explosion injured one person. The group had also claimed responsibility for a spate of parcel bombings in 2010 targeting several embassies in Athens and the offices of European leaders abroad. Most of the devices were intercepted or destroyed by police, but one device injured a parcel company employee in Greece. In the same year, a parcel bomb disguised as a gift exploded at the office of the Public Order Minister in Athens, killing one of the minister’s top aides. In Thursday’s attack, police said Papademos’ police escort had been in a car behind the former prime minister’s vehicle, and that the other two wounded were Bank of Greece employees. Authorities cordoned off the area, and forensics experts were investigating the scene for evidence. The former prime minister’s car was parked by the side of the road, in front of its escort vehicle. Papademos’ car bore little sign of damage, except for buckling on two doors. The government described the blast as a terrorist attack. “It is obvious and self-evident that the Greek government unreservedly and categorically condemns the attack against the former prime minister, Mr. Papademos,” said government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos. The spokesman said he had been given an update from doctors treating the wounded, who were “in a stable condition, are conscious, and are undergoing all the necessary medical tests so that their treatment can be determined.” Conservative opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose brother-in-law, conservative politician Pavlos Bakoyannis, was shot dead in 1989 by members of far-left terror group November 17, expressed “rage and pain” at the attack against Papademos. “At some point we realize in this country that dealing with terrorism must take the highest priority. Terrorists are enemies of democracy,” he said. A respected economist, Papademos headed a provisional coalition government credited with preventing the collapse of the country’s international bailout at the time. He also served as governor of the Bank of Greece between 1994 and 2002, when the country adopted the euro currency.


Spectr News Theme
June 16, 2017

Roots & Soul Festival 2017

A festival dedicated to musicians who are setting new trends in reggae, conscious hip-hop, Afro-punk and R&B, with performances, master classes and encounters between artists and other actors in the music business. Like Saint Lucia Jazz, there will be free and paying concerts, in various parts of the island, again culminating at the Pigeon Island National Landmark, this time on Fathers’ Day, Sunday June 18.  This Festival will also mark the launch of the Carnival Season. This event will include a professional marketplace that brings together musicians, record labels, online music stores and platforms, specialized journalists and other actors in order to enhance market access for Saint Lucian and other musicians and producers.

Spectr News Theme
July 17, 2017

Saint Lucia Carnival 2017

Pumping rhythms, sexy costumes and the people dancing under the warm Caribbean sun; welcome to Saint Lucia Carnival! Almost on the heels of the annual Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival, Saint Lucia’s cultural landscape morphs into a flurry of chrome plated steel drums, feathers, and beads. No matter where you are or who you are, Saint Lucia Carnival is something to behold.

In the months, weeks and hours leading up to Saint Lucia Carnival, there are numerous events that are a must see, whether you’re a Carnival veteran, or Carnival newbie. Some of the staple events - the Calypso Tents, Calypso Monarch, Party Monarch, and Carnival Parade are the deep-rooted cultural aspects of Saint Lucia Carnival. But it won’t be Carnival without the ‘wining’ and jumping and non-stop partying.

Here’s a great tip for first-time Carnival revellers - ‘wining’, is a local Caribbean-wide term used to describe the rotational movement of the hips either to the left or to the right, whichever way your waistline can go really. Before you brave any Saint Lucia Carnival event, don’t be afraid to perfect your ‘wining’ motions. You can bet on someone asking pretty ladies to “take ah wine.” Either way, master the move so that you keep up with the locals and really party like a Saint Lucian.

By the time Carnival Monday rolls around, your dancing skills will help burn off all the yummy calories you’ll be consuming – let’s face it; Saint Lucia’s Carnival food scene is just as fabulous! The ultimate Carnival experience is when one joins a “band.” Competing band members flock together at predetermined locations near the staging area, for the beginning of what will be a hyperactive dance session through the city’s streets. With speakers the size of warehouse refrigerators, the vibrations and sounds begin with only the trance of soca leading you throughout the streets of Saint Lucia.

If you’re still alive at the end of Carnival Monday, many band members will go off to enjoy official band parties or you can opt to go home to revitalize yourself – don’t worry, you can comfort yourself by the fact that the next day is Carnival Tuesday…

Spectr News Theme
August 24, 2017

Food & Rum Festival 2017

This is the revival of a festival that first took place in 2006, a gastronomic event to attract the best chefs, wine connoisseurs, rum fanatics and food critiques from the Caribbean and internationally. Inspired in part by the outstanding achievements of Chefs Nina Compton and Doran Payne, this unique event promotes Saint Lucian and other Caribbean rums, restaurants, chefs, and regionally manufactured food and drink products to a regional and international audience, with food demonstrations, rum tasting, wine tasting, gastronomic dinners and community culinary experiences, all accompanied by musical and other artistic performances by young artists from Saint Lucia.