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Cricket Anyone / W.I vs PAK, 2nd O.D.I. April 9th,2017
« on: April 09, 2017, 02:00:06 PM »
Back to business as usual for W.I. >:(

General Discussion / "Free-spirited "biker dies following dream.
« on: May 03, 2015, 07:40:52 AM »
Ordinarily, I wouldn't post articles about vehicular accidents or road fatalities but this one had me a little depressed.  It was only a few days ago that I tuned in to the evening  news just in time to catch a sports feature on a young, aspiring, female motorcyclist. I never met her but I found her free-spirited nature  very refreshing and I wished her well in her pursuits.  A mere 4 days later I turned on the news only to learn that this young lady lost her life in a tragic accident....involving her motorcycle.

Sometimes life renders  you speechless....all I can say is R.I.P Ms. Mohammed.

‘Free-spirited’ biker dies following dream
By By Carolyn Kissoon
Story Created: May 2, 2015 at 10:05 PM ECT

A year ago, Aislinn Mohammed realised her dream to become a biker like her father and uncle.

And despite warnings by her mother, Mohammed sold her car and purchased a Honda 600 motorcycle.

Mohammed, of Nacir Trace, Preysal, lost her life yesterday when her vehicle slammed into the cable barriers near the Freeport overpass.

Mohammed, 30, was returning home after liming with friends—a group of bikers—at a restaurant in Chaguanas.

Police said Mohammed, an employee at Imtech Marine Ltd, was riding south along the Solomon Hochoy Highway, when she attempted to exit at Freeport around 1.30 a.m.

The motorcycle spun out of control and Mohammed was flung into the air, landing on the median 50 feet away.

A motorist who witnessed the accident said he stopped to assist the woman.

The man said he held the injured woman, but her body became limp after two breaths.

Police said the group, who was riding with Mohammed, was not aware of the crash as they were too far ahead of her.

The Sunday Express visited Mohammed’s home yesterday, but her mother, Valarie Mohammed, was too distraught to speak.

Her father, Haseeb Mohammed, was preparing to bury his daughter.

Mohammed was the couple’s only daughter. Relatives said her only brother, Safian Mohammed, was trying to console their mother.

Her cousin, Miranda Mohammed, said Mohammed was a free-spirited woman.

“She was the happiest, most fun-loving person you would ever meet. Her father and uncle were bikers and a year ago she decided she wanted to be a biker too.

“Everybody warned her, but she said this was in her heart and she really wanted to do it. She sold her car and bought a bike. She had little falls learning to ride, but no serious accidents,” she said.

Miranda Mohammed said she last spoke with her cousin on Friday around 8 p.m. “We were talking about a charity boat cruise I am doing. She was excited and bought the first two tickets. Now I think I am going to dedicate that cruise in her name,” she said.

Mohammed’s Facebook page was flooded with tributes from her 5,000-plus friends yesterday. She was not married and had no children.

Her cousin said, “She has a big circle of friends. She was dating a guy who was a biker and he died in an accident about a year ago. But that did not stop her from following her dreams.”

Mohammed will be laid to rest following a funeral service at her family’s home at 2 p.m. today.

Last Monday, she was featured on CNC3’s Sports News as one of a few women bikers in the country.
Link to Sports Feature:

Cricket Anyone / Holder appointed WI ODI captain
« on: December 20, 2014, 03:20:11 PM »
Holder appointed WI ODI captain

Jason Holder has replaced Dwayne Bravo as West Indies' ODI captain and will lead the team in the five-match ODI series against South Africa, which starts from January 16, 2015.

Bravo, who had replaced Darren Sammy as the ODI captain in May 2013, has also been left out of the squad for the South Africa one-dayers but is a part of the T20 side. Bravo led West Indies to victory in 12 of the 27 games since May last year.

Apart from Dwayne Bravo exclusion, the West Indies ODI squad has a number of changes compared to the side that toured India. Darren Sammy and Kieron Pollard have been left out for the ODIs but feature in the T20 squad. Offspinner Sunil Narine, who was withdrawn from the India series after being banned during the Champions League T20 due to a suspect action, does not feature in either squad.

According to a WICB release,the recommendation to replace Bravo with Holder had been made by the Clive Lloyd-led selection panel and it was approved by the board of directors. Lloyd said Holder's appointment had been made with an eye on the future. Holder made his ODI debut against Australia in February 2013 and has played 21 games taking 29 wickets at an average of 28.65.

"Jason is one of the good, young players who we believe will form part of the long-term future of West Indies Cricket," Lloyd said. "We expect him to be around for a very long time. He is a young man with a very bright future. We have invested in him. He was part of High Performance Centre and he also played for the West Indies Under-19 Team and the West Indies A Team.

"He has played ODIs for the West Indies before and has done well. We know he will continue to grow and demonstrate leadership. He has a very good cricketing brain and has the makings of a very good leader.

"The selectors decided that now is the time to make the transition and Jason will have people around him to help and guide him. Some might say it's close to the time of next year's ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand but we know that we have a good One-Day team which can do very well."

Jonathan Carter has received a maiden overseas tour call-up for the ODIS. Batsman Narsingh Deonarine has been picked following good performances recently, including two successive first-class hundreds for Guyana in the Professional Cricket League. Deonarine has also replaced Assad Fudadin in the squad for the second Test against South Africa.

The ODI side has only one full-time spinner in Sulieman Benn, with Jerome Taylor, Sheldon Cottrell and Holder leading the pace attack. Kemar Roach had earlier been identified for selection but following his injury in the Centurion Test, the West Indies selectors have decided to name a replacement for him at a later date.

West Indies' squad for the limited-overs leg in SA

West Indies ODI squad Jason Holder (capt), Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Sheldon Cottrell, Narsingh Deonarine, Leon Johnson, Chris Gayle, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Jerome Taylor

West Indies T20 squad

Darren Sammy (capt), Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle (subject to fitness test), Jason Holder, Ashley Nurse, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith


Entertainment & Culture Discussion / R.I.P Philip Seymour Hoffman
« on: February 02, 2014, 02:07:59 PM »
One of my favourite actors   :(

Sources: Philip Seymour Hoffman dead of apparent drug overdose
By Todd Leopold and Steve Almasy, CNN
February 2, 2014 -- Updated 1936 GMT (0336 HKT)

(CNN) -- Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has been found dead of an apparent drug overdose in his Manhattan apartment, law enforcement sources said Sunday.

Hoffman, 46, was found in the bathroom of the fourth-floor apartment, the sources told CNN.

Police found what they believe to be heroin inside the apartment, a source told CNN.

Hoffman's body was discovered by a playwright who had been working with him.

A needle was found in one of the actor's arms, the sources told CNN.

Hoffman won an Academy Award for best actor for the 2005 biopic "Capote."

He was a beefy 5-foot-10-inch man, but was convincing as the slight 5-foot-3-inch Truman Capote. He had a booming voice like a deity's but often played shlubby, conflicted characters.

He could be heartfelt and giving, as with his male nurse in "Magnolia" or rock critic in "Almost Famous," or creepily Machiavellian, like the gamemaster in the latest "Hunger Games" movie or a "Mission: Impossible" movie villain.

He also appeared in "Charlie Wilson's War," "Doubt," and "The Master," for which he was nominated as best supporting actor.

According to a biography of the actor posted on the Turner Classic Movies website, last year Hoffman revealed he was seeking treatment for drug abuse, and "seemed to be confident that he was getting a handle on the situation."

Hoffman's father was a salesman and his mother was a family court judge, the biography says.

He landed his first professional stage role before graduating from high school and went on to study acting at New York University.

In Hollywood, his big break came with a small role as Chris O'Donnell's classmate in the 1992 film "Scent of a Woman."

For years, Hoffman was the kind of anonymous character actor who earned critical raves but was often unnoticed by the general public. He used his abilities to take chances with such directors as a then-unknown Paul Thomas Anderson, with whom he worked in "Hard Eight" (and several ensuing films, as both became better known) and Todd Solondz ("Happiness").

"I think about that a lot," he told Esquire in 2012 of his anonymity. "I feel it cracking lately, the older I'm getting. I think I'm less anonymous than I was."

Even after winning the Academy Award, he took challenging roles. He was an L. Ron Hubbard-style leader in "The Master" and an intense theater director in "Synecdoche, New York." Neither lit up the box office, but Hoffman's performances earned wide praise for their immersiveness.

Hoffman appeared last month at the Sundance Film Festival, where a movie he starred in, "God's Pocket," premiered.

After his Oscar win at the Academy Awards in 2006, Hoffman thanked his mother for taking him to his first play.

"She brought up four kids alone and she deserves a congratulations for that. Ah, we're at the party, Ma, you know? And she took me to my first play and she stayed up with me and watched the NCAA Final Four, and my passions, her passions became my passions. And, you know, be proud, Mom, because I'm proud of you and we're here tonight and it's so good," he said in his acceptance speech.

Hoffman stayed active on stage even as his star rose in Hollywood. He starred in a Broadway production of "Death of a Salesman" in 2012 and was co-artistic director of the Labyrinth Theater Company in New York.

He is survived by three children and his longtime partner, Mimi O'Donnell.

Entertainment & Culture Discussion / R.I.P Paul Walker
« on: December 01, 2013, 07:08:47 AM »
'Fast & Furious' star Paul Walker killed in car crash
By Alan Duke and Joe Sutton, CNN
December 1, 2013 -- Updated 1143 GMT (1943 HKT)

Santa Clarita, California (CNN) -- Actor Paul Walker, who shot to fame as star of the high-octane street racing franchise "Fast & Furious," died Saturday in a car crash in Southern California. He was 40.

Walker's publicist Ame van Iden confirmed his death, but said she could not elaborate beyond statements posted on Walker's official Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Walker was a passenger in a friend's 2005 Porsche Carrera GT and both were attending a charity event for his organization, Reach Out Worldwide, in the community of Valencia in Santa Clarita, about 30 miles north of Hollywood.

Speed was a factor in the crash, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office said.

The wreck took place about 3:30 p.m. (6:30 p.m. ET), about 300 yards from the office park where the event was held. The speed limit there is 45 mph.

Up and down the road near the crash site were burned rubber and doughnut marks as though someone smoked their tires in figure 8 patterns.

"I don't know if the marks in the road are related to the crash," said Los Angeles County sheriff's Sgt. Brian Allen.

Deputies arrived at the scene to find a vehicle on fire, he said

Once fire crews put the flames out, they found two occupants, both of whom were pronounced dead at the scene.

Saturday evening, all that remained was the burnt mangled metal of the red car and a light pole that had been knocked down.

The county coroner said that, given the condition of the bodies, it will take some time to definitively identify them.

Box office success

Walker's career began on the small screen, first with a commercial for Pampers when he was 2, and then with parts in shows such as "Highway to Heaven" and "Touched By An Angel."

His first few movie roles were as supporting characters in teen flicks, most notably in "Varsity Blues."

His career really took off when he was cast as undercover cop Brian O'Conner infiltrating a street-racing gang in 2001's "The Fast and the Furious."

The box-office success of the surprise summer hit yielded numerous sequels. And along with Vin Diesel, Walker was one of the franchise stalwarts.

At the time of his death, he was working on the seventh film of the franchise, due out next year.

Walker wasn't just a car enthusiast on the silver screen, off-screen, the actor competed in the "Redline Time Attack" racing series.

On his verified Twitter account, Walker described himself as "outdoorsman, ocean addict, adrenaline junkie ... and I do some acting on the side."

Walker also is the star of "Hours," an independent film scheduled to be released December 13 about a father struggling to keep his newborn infant alive in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

Twitter and other social media exploded with reactions to Walker's death.

"Completely numb and saddened to hear of the tragic death of Paul Walker," wrote one.

Hollywood condolences came from Will Smith, Jack Osbourne, DMX and others.

"No, @RealPaulWalker. No. No. No," tweeted actress Alyssa Milano. Walker guest-appeared with her in the 80s comedy, "Who's The Boss?" "Rest with the angels. You. Sweet boy. #beauty #love #RIP."

He is survived by his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow.

1st One Day:   W.I A  282/9 ( Simmo 106.)
                     Sri Lanka A 225/6 in over 43.

Not too sure about the starting line-ups. Jamaica won the toss and are batting first.

17/3.  All 3 wkts to Marlon Richards.

Cricket Anyone / 2013 Champion League T20....
« on: April 12, 2013, 04:26:01 AM »
After our commendable performances in the previous editions of the CLT20, it looks like the powers that be finally decided that T&T should be placed directly into the main draw for this year's Champions more qualification round for us.
Ironic though, because this year might see us fielding our weakest team ever in the competition. >:(

CLT20 in India, Pakistani team in qualifiers
ESPNcricinfo staff

April 12, 2013

The Champions League T20 2013 will be held in India from September 17 to October 6 and will feature a Pakistani side in the qualifiers. The main draw sees West Indian representation for the first time but there will be no team from England in the tournament.

The schedule, announced on Friday, has ten teams split in two groups, with the top two in each group making the semifinals. Eight teams have been seeded directly into the main competition and will be joined by two of the five qualifiers.

One of those qualifiers is Faisalabad Wolves, who recently won the Faysal Bank Super Eight T20 Cup; their participation in the tournament will be interesting given the fragile diplomatic and sporting ties between India and Pakistan.

Trinidad & Tobago find a place in the main draw, after sustained public pressure following strong performances in previous seasons. They had finished runners-up in the inaugural edition in 2009, and won Qualifiers in 2011 and 2012 to secure their berth.

The ECB's announcement that no teams from England will take part in this year's competition has opened up slots for other domestic competitions.

Group A IPL 1st ranked team (India) Highveld Lions (South Africa) Perth Scorchers (Australia) IPL 3rd ranked team (India) Q1 (Qualifier)

Group B IPL 2nd ranked team (India) Titans (South Africa) Brisbane Heat (Australia) Trinidad & Tobago (West Indies) Q2 (Qualifier)

Qualifier IPL 4th ranked team (India) Otago Volts (New Zealand) Uva Next (Sri Lanka) Faisalabad Wolves (Pakistan)

Batting first, T&T are 189/5 at tea on day one, with Ramdin 38 n.o and Imran Khan 1 n.o.
Simmons 51
DM Bravo 66.

Cricket Anyone / Regional 4 Day Tournament.. T&T vs Leewards
« on: February 27, 2013, 03:52:38 PM »
After being 100/7, T&T recovered well to end day one at 254/8 with Katwaroo 54 not out and Rampaul 14 n.o.  Barath and Yannick Ottley contributed 58 runs each .
Leewards is perhaps the weakest team in the region, but with 8 of our players being called up for W.I duty this was always going to be a challenging match for us. Let's hope we can get about 60-70 more runs tomorrow then do some damage to the Leewards batting line-up. We need first innings points and an outright win to get us back on track.

General Discussion / Pope to resign.
« on: February 11, 2013, 06:00:57 AM »
Pope Benedict to resign at the end of the month, Vatican says
From Hada Messia, CNN
February 11, 2013 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)

Rome (CNN) -- Pope Benedict XVI will resign on February 28, his spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told CNN Monday.
The 85-year-old pope is resigning "because of advanced age," Benedict told the cardinals of the Catholic Church on Monday.
"Strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me," the pope told the cardinals, according to the Vatican.
The last pope to resign was Gregory XII in 1415. He did so to end a civil war within the church in which more than one man claimed to be pope.
Benedict, the 265th pope, is the sixth German to serve as pope and the first since the 11th century. He became pope in 2005.
He has led church after the third-longest papacy in church history and during a time in which the church is declining in his native Europe but expanding in Africa and Latin America.
Benedict's time as pope has been marked with a series of scandals and controversies, including hundreds of new allegations of sexual abuse by priests.

Cricket Anyone / TTCB replaces ‘more money’ players
« on: October 04, 2012, 09:32:32 AM »
Well, I really didn't see this one coming at all! :o What happened to playing for pride and love of country ? ::)
There goes any chance of us making it out of the qualifiers.

TTCB replaces ‘more money’ players
Thursday, October 4, 2012

Cricket in this part of the world is always studded with drama on and off the field, and with just mere hours for the T&T players to board their British Airways flight to South Africa comes news that some of the senior players have decided to pull out over a money dispute with the T&T Cricket Board (TTCB). The national team was due to leave these shores at 5 pm this afternoon bound for South Africa via London. However, it is alleged that the five players who are currently in Sri Lanka representing the West Indies at the World Cup in Sri Lanka have asked the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) to make representation on their behalf for more money to make the trip. The five men in question are Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul, skipper Denesh Ramdin and leg-spinner Samuel Badree. According to a source close to the situation: "The players are demanding that the TTCB give them a share of the transfer fee they got for IPL players Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard."
The TTCB got US$150,000 for each of the three players. The board has stoutly refused the demand and the executive summoned the chairman of selectors Dudnath Ramkessoon to get his panel to select five replacement players. The replacement players chosen are Justin Guillen, Mervyn Dillon, former skipper Daren Ganga, spinner Dave Mohammed and wicketkeeper Stephen Katwaroo. According to the source, the other 10 local players selected have agreed to make the trip but they were locked in a meeting with WIPA last night.
  The T&T Cricket Board announced yesterday that each player on the 15-man squad is guaranteed a payment of more than US$20,000 for the two qualifying matches carded for October 10 and 11 in Johannesburg. Should the team advance to the main draw of the competition, the T&TCB is guaranteed an additional US$200,000 before taxes. And the T&TCB has informed the squad, comprising 15 players, five technical staff and three administrators, that 75 percent of the monies and any other prize money won by the team will be shared among them. In South Africa, the T&T team will proudly wear a kit outfitted with the logo of National Gas Company of T&T for which the players will receive more than half of the negotiated sponsorship.
The sponsorship input, plus 75 percent of the participation fee which the T&TCB will collect make up the more than US$20,000 payment to each player on the squad, the T&TCB said. A T&TCB official said yesterday that the cricketers stand to benefit from approximately 66 percent of the total income which will accrue from T&T's participation in the 2012 Champions League T20 while the technical staff and the T&TCB will share the remaining 34 per cent. It is understood that the T&TCB has already started planning to utilise its part of the proceeds to refurbish the Sir Frank Worrell Development Centre and the Alloy Lequay Administrative Building which were both constructed over ten years ago. The T&TCB reportedly is also considering sharing part of the income gained with each club which took part in the board's 2012 competitions to ensure that the successes at the elite level by the national cricketers could effectively benefit the game at club and community level.

Ga. man shares story of survival after near-fatal wreck in Tobago

By Ashley Swann
Channel 2 Action News

ATLANTA — A Georgia man with an amazing story of survival is now facing a mountain of medical bills from his ordeal.

Once an active 32-year-old, Justin Lake is now a quadriplegic recovering at Atlanta's Shepherd Center. It's a story that can only be described as a nightmare.

On Aug. 26, Justin was on vacation in Tobago with friends when a drunk driver hit him going at least 80 miles an hour as he sat in a parked car.

Justin couldn't feel anything from the neck down, and said his fear only grew when emergency responders didn't seem to know what to do.

"Laying on my back and just completely paralyzed, that was a pretty terrifying feeling," he shared with Channel 2's Ashley Swann. "I had to walk the guy through putting on my c-collar and how to stabilize my spine so the damage wouldn't get any worse."

A trained EMT himself, Lake was taken to a makeshift hospital where he assisted as doctors stitched up his head wound without pain medication.

Finally, thanks to the hard work of friends who live in Trinidad, Lake was taken by military helicopter to Trinidad, where he underwent surgery to stabilize his neck. He was eventually flown by a private ICU jet to Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta.

"It's an amazing place. I'm lucky to be in America," Lake said.

But that flight alone cost nearly $30,000 -- expenses Lake and his family said their insurance company may not cover.

"Maybe they'll reconsider once we get some more documentation to them, hopefully, because the bill is astronomical," Lake said.

Now facing a future he never imagined, Lake said the support of loved ones and even strangers on Facebook is keeping him going.

"It's just, it's just amazing. It's humbling really," he told Swann. "Hopefully it'll continue and I'll keep getting all those prayers from those people. I'm still here. God still wants me on this earth, you know, so there's a reason for it."

Entertainment & Culture Discussion / Mr. Monday
« on: September 17, 2012, 09:39:12 AM »
Nice local song/video....take a look/listen:

Robert Mugabe 'says Jamaican men only interested in smoking dope and singing'
By Aislinn Laing, Johannesburg2:47PM BST 13 Sep 2012

Zimbabwe's president Robert Mugabe has sparked an angry reaction in Jamaica after he reportedly said that their men were only interested in smoking dope and singing all day.
Mr Mugabe, 88, is said to have made the undiplomatic comments in an unscripted aside during a three-hour speech at a research exposition in Harare.
"In Jamaica, they have freedom to smoke cannabis, the men are always high and universities are full of women," he is reported by the Zimbabwean Daily News to have said.
"The men want to sing and do not go to colleges, some of them twist their hair. Let us not go there."
The comments provoked fierce debate in the Jamaican papers and on radio chat shows, and brought criticism from the country's foreign minister who insisted his countrymen were "law abiding".
"Jamaican men and women from all walks of life have made valuable contributions to national development and have made their mark on the world stage," AJ Nicholson told the Jamaican Gleaner newspaper.

Christopher Tufton, the opposition spokesman on foreign affairs, said that if Mr Mugabe had such a low opinion of the Jamaicans, he should be asked to hand back the Order of Jamaica award conferred on him during a state visit to the island in 1996.
"I think that he should be called on to provide an explanation as to what he meant. It's inappropriate and, frankly speaking, rude. He should apologise to the Jamaican people," he said.
But others suggested Mr Mugabe's comments should prompt Jamaicans to do some soul-searching, pointing out that the island is the largest producer of marijuana in the Caribbean.
"Certainly, President Robert Mugabe's observation that our 'universities are full of women' while our men 'want to sing and do not go to colleges' is a truism, which none can deny," Vincent Peterkin, a Northern Caribbean University Administrator wrote in a letter to the Gleaner.

Entertainment & Culture Discussion / R.I.P Michael Clarke Duncan
« on: September 03, 2012, 05:05:22 PM »
'Green Mile' actor Michael Clarke Duncan dead at age 54, family rep says
By the CNN Wire Staff
September 3, 2012 -- Updated 2236 GMT (0636 HKT)

(CNN) -- Michael Clarke Duncan, nominated for an Academy Award for his role in the 1999 film "The Green Mile," has died at age 54, according to a representative for his family.
Duncan "suffered a myocardial infarction on July 13 and never fully recovered," a written statement from Joy Fehily said.
Clarke died at a Los Angeles hospital where he had been since having the heart attack more than seven weeks ago.
According to TMZ, it was Duncan's girlfriend Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, a reality star and former contestant on "The Apprentice," who had acted quickly and provided lifesaving efforts when he had the heart attack.
Most recently he was on the TV series, "The Finder," on the Fox network.
His co-star Mercedes Masohn tweeted: "Today is a sad day. Michael Clark Duncan passed away this morning. Known for his moving performance in The Green Mile. RIP MCD. You'll b missed."
According to Entertainment Weekly, the TV series was canceled in May.
A towering and hulking figure, the 6-foot-5-inch Duncan also was known for his deep voice.
In 1998, he landed his first significant movie part, playing Bear in the film "Armageddon," where a crew of drillers from a oil rig save the Earth from an asteroid.
A year later he was in the "The Green Mile" as John Coffey, a role that landed him an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor.

General Discussion / Who wants a flag?
« on: August 10, 2012, 08:13:57 AM »
$.3m to put flag in every home
By Anna Ramdass
Story Created: Aug 9, 2012 at 11:06 PM ECT
Story Updated: Aug 9, 2012 at 11:06 PM ECT

The Government will be spending just over $307,000 to ensure that a small national flag is placed in every home in the country as part of its new initiative — national patriotism month from August 30 to September 30.
Minister of National Diversification Clifton DeCoteau announced this yesterday at the post-Cabinet news conference at the Office of the Prime Minister, St Clair.
However, when questioned on whether flags that are currently erected in Port of Spain such as those outside the Hyatt were in keeping with the laws, DeCoteau said the National Security Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister sit on a committee which will oversee plans for national patriotism month and ensure that protocols are followed.
The initiative to plant a flag in every home, he said, stems from an initiative of the Naparima scouts.
This flag expansion programme, he said, will be accompanied with an education drive informing people of flag protocols and its usage and meaning.
DeCoteau could not answer which private company will be given the contract to supply these small flags, but disclosed that it will be outsourced by the National Security Ministry.
He also could not say what was the total cost of all the programmes mentioned, saying that proposals were still being made.
Within that one-month period, DeCoteau said items such as pencils, copybooks, bookmarks, wristbands, miniature flags, stickers, key chains, pens, mugs and bottle openers will be distributed to schools, children's homes and members of the public.
He said there will be a "I love my country" radio programme and a national day of prayer in schools.
He said there will also be a launch of the Ministry's jingle and a most patriotic school competitions as well as a production of a national heroes documentary.

General Discussion / Exoneration or escape?
« on: July 21, 2012, 09:35:02 PM »
Exoneration or escape?
By Raffique Shah
Story Created: Jul 21, 2012 at 10:57 PM ECT
Story Updated: Jul 21, 2012 at 10:57 PM ECT

FORTY years ago on July 27 I was released from prison a free man. I had spent 27 months in prison, faced a court-martial on mutiny and other charges, and had been committed to stand trial for treason. The treason charge was without substance.

But on the equally serious offence of mutiny, for which the court-martial had found me guilty and sentenced me to 20 years imprisonment, the Court of Appeal later decided there was a miscarriage of justice, hence it overturned the conviction.

I am dredging up this murky period in the nation's history not to rub salt in anybody's wound or to blow my mutineer-trumpet. I am doing it to show how less than honourable men could play smart with foolishness, how they could use court decisions as badges of exoneration when they merely and barely escaped punishment.

You see, I never denied that I had committed mutiny. How could I, when I had brazenly led my men in revolt against a high command that I believed was inept? I could try to justify my actions. But I could never deny the offence. Indeed, very early during the six-month trial, this 24-year-old lieutenant shocked the court (Commonwealth military officers), the prosecution (led by Bruce Procope and Teddy Guerra) and the nation by taking the witness stand and saying, "Yes, I overthrew the high command!"

Most people thought I had gone mad. That was tantamount to a murder accused pleading guilty. But I had an obscure legal ace up my sleeve: my commanding officer had condoned my actions. To cut a very long story short, having floored everyone with a perfectly legal plea that few knew existed, I took responsibility for all the men I had led in revolt, and asked the court to free us (in accordance with the law).

Of course Colonel Danjuma and company did no such thing. They threw out the condonation pleas (Rex Lassalle, Maurice Noray, Ferguson Guy and Carl Lai Leung had also pleaded condonation), proceeded with the trial, and jailed our backsides for long stretches. But our lawyers (Desmond Allum, Allan Alexander, Frank Solomon and solicitor Lennox Pierre) thought that the court had not been fair in hearing the pleas, not adhered to proper procedures. About six months later, three of the country's most eminent judges, Clement Phillips, Aubrey Fraser and Telford Georges, agreed with the defence.

In a judgement that further shocked the government and nation, the Court of Appeal unanimously quashed Rex and my convictions, although they disallowed the other appeals. In his judgement, Fraser J made the following incisive point: "It is perhaps the acme of irony that the two men who boldly and brazenly proclaimed themselves to be leaders of the mutiny...should escape punishment for their actions. But the law must take its proper course..."

The government would appeal this ruling to the Privy Council, but it was dismissed. It was in those circumstances my fellow mutineers and I were released from prison, free men. But did the highest courts exonerate us on the charge of mutiny? I submit that they didn't. Thus, my colleagues and I have always remained mutineers, defiant as young men, but more responsible as we matured.

After members of that 1970 high command passed on, I have had good relations with most of the officers who were my colleagues at the time, including commanding officers and chiefs of defence staff. Indeed, many very senior officers who enlisted well after the events have shown me respect. I have been consulted by prime ministers and I served on State boards and government-appointed committees.

But I am ever mindful that I remain a mutineer, whatever the courts have ruled. In contrast, consider this. Last week, the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled in favour of expelled FIFA vice president Mohamed Bin Hammam, not because the CAS believed he did not attempt to bribe CONCACAF football officials, but because the judges felt FIFA had not advanced sufficient evidence against him.

Immediately, Jack Warner, who has been named in several allegations of impropriety, who resigned from FIFA rather than seek to clear his name, called a media conference and claimed exoneration—presumably by association. That his name and some startling numbers would surface the following day in a leaked PricewaterhouseCoopers audit of the Asian Football Confederation, meant nothing to this man. That his prized Centre of Excellence and the man after whom it was named (Joao Havelange) are mired in muck means nothing to him. That week after week, AP, AFP, Business Week, the Financial Times and other reputable media services and houses use his name in unflattering terms, means nothing to him.

Exoneration by association—that is what he crows over.
What may be worse, is that those who matter in Cabinet, the Prime Minister, the leaders of parties that comprise the People's Partnership, seemingly support this charade. They refer to relics like O'Halloran and Prevatt; they threaten Calder Hart. Yet they sit comfortably with Warner. One day, one day...
The other person who has taken shelter behind a legal fig leaf is Basdeo Panday. Recently, a magistrate discontinued proceedings against him not for lack of evidence, but because of a procedural irregularity. Based on this narrow escape, Panday claimed innocence, persecution, exoneration and sainthood all wrapped up in that ruling. Where, O Jah, are the men and women of honour in this country? Christ, we are fifty, but we have all the characteristics of deviant adolescents. Lord, put a hand.

Pollard, Bravo, Narine stay with T&T for Champions League
By Roger Seepersad
Story Created: Jul 20, 2012 at 11:59 PM ECT
Story Updated: Jul 20, 2012 at 11:59 PM ECT

Indian Premier League (IPL) stars Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine will play for Trinidad and Tobago in the Champions League T20 competition.
Minister of Sport Anil Roberts yesterday confirmed that an agreement has been reached that will allow the players to line up for T&T in the tournament, which is set for South Africa in October. They are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to that end today.
All three players have qualified to play for both T&T and their respective IPL franchises for the 2012 Champions League, but at yesterday's SPORTT (Sport Company of T&T) Youth Sport Camp at Marlin's Swimming Pool in Westmoorings, Roberts told reporters that the trio will be in the T&T squad.
Without Pollard and Bravo in last year's Champions League in India–the duo played for IPL's Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings respectively–T&T only just missed out on qualification for the semi-finals after losing their two opening matches by the narrowest of margins.
This year Sunil Narine qualified for the Champions League with Kolkata Knight Riders.
Like last year, T&T will have to play in a pre-tournament qualifying phase with the top two teams moving on to the main tournament. The team topped their qualifying group last year.
Of the agreement, with the players, Roberts said: "Negotiations...up to yesterday (Thursday) I met with the managers...we are hopefully to sign an MOU tomorrow (Saturday) and get down to the nitty-gritty of the details of the contracts, but all three players have said they want to play for Trinidad and Tobago. the Government of Trinidad and Tobago have said they will match their fees, so that they will not lose anything."
"We want the best team. Some of the Indian teams, the owners are obviously a bit upset because they would love to have Sunil Narine, Pollard and Bravo but unfortunately, I told them quite upfront that we are being professional, that we are not holding anything in secret. We are not going to wait until the last minute and then steal the players from under them," Roberts added.
He said he made T&T's position clear to the IPL franchises early on and said some of them were upset with the position.
"I spoke with Mr Venky of Kolkata Knight Riders and so on and explained that this is the position we have taken early. We have let them know because we professional. We appreciate what they have done for our boys but Trinidad and Tobago comes first and our players, we must have our entire team out there to represent Trinidad and Tobago because Sport Tourism is huge...
"We want to win the Champions League, not only for the benefit of Trinidad and Tobago but the pride and passion of winning a world championship," said Roberts.
"I also explained to them, because some of them are quite upset...I said, 'please for a moment, just picture Mahendra Singh Dhoni or Sachin Tendulkar or (Suresh) Raina deciding or contemplating to play for a club ahead of India. I don't think that would even be a choice. I don't think they would even be able to set foot in their land of their birth if ever they even consider disappointing their countrymen and their country by playing for club for money'," he explained.
"So I asked them to consider Trinidad and Tobago, even though we are smaller than them, to consider us in exactly the same way. We are a sovereign republic. We have spent a lot of time, money, effort and coaching on our players and we want the best for Red White and Black. It is nothing against them (the IPL franchises) but it is a positive that Trinidad and Tobago must have the best team," Roberts added.
"So while they may be upset, I tell them I am very sorry they are upset, but the (T&T) population wants our best players, the Government wants our best players. The players want to play for Trinidad and Tobago and they will play for Trinidad and Tobago," Roberts concluded.

14 dead, 50 wounded in shooting at Colorado theater, police chief says
By Chelsea J. Carter, CNN
July 20, 2012 -- Updated 1150 GMT (1950 HKT)

(CNN) -- A heavily armed gunman killed at least 14 people and wounded 50 more during an early Friday morning screening of the new Batman movie at an Aurora, Colorado, theater, police Chief Dan Oates told reporters.
Police arrested a man believed to be the shooter in a rear parking lot of the theater, Frank Fania, a police spokesman, told CNN. The suspect was not immediately identified, though Fania said he was believed to be in his early 20s.
"He did not resist. He did not put up a fight," Fania said. Police seized a rifle and a handgun from the suspect, and another gun was found in the theater, he said.
Oates said there was no evidence of a second gunman, and FBI spokesman Jason Pack said it did not appear the incident was related to terrorism.
President Barack Obama issued a statement saying he and first lady Michelle Obama were "shocked and saddened" by the shooting and pledged the administration's support for victims of the shooting.
"As we do when confronted by moments of darkness and challenge, we must now come together as one American family," it said.
Chaos broke out during the showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" at the Century Aurora 16 theater when the shooting began, police and witnesses said.
Witnesses told KUSA that the gunman kicked in an emergency exit door and threw a smoke bomb into the darkened theater before opening fire.
One movie-goer, who was not identified, told KUSA the gunman was wearing a gas mask.
Some people in the audience thought the thick smoke and gunfire was a special effect accompanying the movie, police and witnesses said.
"We just heard a pop, pop, pop, pop," said Quentin Caldwell, who was attending the Batman showing in an adjacent theater.
Cell phone video taken by someone at the theater showed scores of people screaming and fleeing the building. Some had blood on their clothes.
One police officer carried a girl believed to be about 9 with gunshot wounds to her back out of the theater, a witness said. "She wasn't moving."
Authorities also have evacuated the suspect's Aurora apartment building after "he made a statement about explosives" in his unit, Oates said.
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents have searched the suspect's car and went to his home to search for explosives, agency spokesman Tom Mangan said. They also are conducting emergency traces on the weapons used to see how they were obtained, he said.
Of the wounded, at least 20 were being treated at the University of Colorado Hospital, said spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery. All of the wounded suffered from gunshot wounds, which ranged from minor to critical, she said.
"They're arriving by police, by ambulance. Some are walking in," she said.
Ten people were killed in the theater and another four died at area hospitals, Oates said.
Hundreds of police officers descended on the theater, and the FBI has joined the investigation.
"We were calling for help from every police and fire agency," Fania said.
Aurora, a Denver suburb, is about 13 miles from Littleton, Colorado -- site of the April 1999 Columbine High School massacre.
In that incident, two teenage students, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, armed themselves with guns and bombs and opened fire inside the high school. They killed 13 people and wounding 23 others before killing themselves.

General Discussion / Strain Hunters- Trinidad & St. Vincent
« on: July 03, 2012, 08:40:14 AM »
Came across this on Youtube a couple days ago.

From their website:
Strain Hunters is a series of documentaries aimed at informing the general public about the quest for the preservation of the cannabis plant in the form of particularly vulnerable landraces originating in the poorest areas of the planet.
The sole intent of Strain Hunters is to identify, locate and retrieve cannabis landraces that have not yet been studied, in order to give scientists and doctors the possibility to further enhance knowledge of the cannabis plant in the medicinal field. Many previously unknown cannabinoid profiles are contained in cannabis landraces originating from areas where there is no possibility of scientific research.

Cricket Anyone / Power-Play T20 franchise tournament
« on: June 22, 2012, 04:49:33 PM »
Anybody following this tournament? Just took in the opening game, Angostura vs Trini Posse. Not high quality cricket by any means but some good kicks  :D Trini posse just lost after having to chase just 80 of 15 overs. Justin Guillen is the skipper for Trini Posse and Riad Emrit for like Mervyn Dillon and Narsingh Deonarine playing.
Next game starts at 7 pm...Carib (captained by Adrian Bharath) vs Petrotrin ( Darren Ganga).

Link here: ( you need to register to watch)

The T20's between India A and W.I A will also be shown live there...

General Discussion / Rodney King dead
« on: June 17, 2012, 11:50:43 AM »

Rodney King dead at 47
By the CNN Wire Staff

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Rodney King, whose beating by Los Angeles police in 1991 was caught on camera and sparked riots after the acquittal of the four officers involved, was found dead in his swimming pool Sunday, authorities and his fiancee said. He was 47.
Police in Rialto, California, received a 911 call from King's fiancee, Cynthia Kelly, about 5:25 a.m., said Capt. Randy DeAnda. Responding officers found King at the bottom of the pool, removed him and attempted to revive him. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital, DeAnda said.
There were no preliminary signs of foul play, he said, and no obvious injuries on King's body. Police are conducting a drowning investigation, DeAnda said, and King's body would be autopsied.

Cricket Anyone / W.I Squad for ODIs and T20s named.
« on: June 04, 2012, 06:16:16 PM »
On paper, this looks like a really strong squad! If we lose the ODI series with this team, we need to stop playing cricket for a while.

Chris Gayle, Johnson Charles, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Darren Sammy (capt), Dwayne Smith, Andre Russell, Tino Best, Fidel Edwards, Ravi Rampaul, Sunil Narine.

Gayle formally recalled to West Indies squad
Daniel Brettig
June 5, 2012

Chris Gayle's 15-month international exile is over after he was formally recalled to the West Indies ODI squad for the forthcoming series against England, starting in Southampton on June 16.

In keeping with the fractious and drawn out nature of the dispute that kept Gayle out of the team, his recall was confirmed after a meeting of more political than selection nature in St Vincent. Gayle and his agent Michael Hall spoke with an array of political and cricket figures including the island's prime minister Ralph Gonsalves, Antigua and Barbuda prime minister Baldwin Spencer, WICB president Julian Hunte, WICB director Elson Crick and the WICB's legal officer Alanna Medford.

The meeting, devised to smooth over any "residual matters" between Gayle and the WICB, was followed by the announcement of the squad for the limited-overs segment of the England tour, with Gayle returning to the ranks for the first time since the 2011 World Cup.

"Directors of the West Indies Cricket Board recently met by teleconference and are pleased that consistent with his previous commitment Mr Chris Gayle has made himself available for selection to the West Indies team," a WICB statement had said of the meeting. "The board believes that Mr Gayle's stated commitment to West Indies cricket will be an asset to the team and looks forward to his contributions in that regard."

Gayle's recall was first mooted during West Indies' earlier home series against Australia, when he met with WICB officials to repair a relationship that had deteriorated around the emergence of Twenty20 and the rise of the Indian Premier League. It then dissolved entirely when the former captain criticised the coach Ottis Gibson and the WICB during a radio interview last year.

In England the mood for Gayle's return has gathered strength, pushed along by the words of Kevin Pietersen, who said it would be "brilliant for the game" if he was recalled, while the former West Indies fast bowler and widely respected commentator Michael Holding effectively challenged the WICB to stop delaying Gayle's rehabilitation as an international player.

Lendl Simmons is the other notable recall to the ODI team after he missed the home matches against Australia. Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell also return to the team for limited-overs matches after completing their IPL duties.

Cricket Anyone / West Indies vs England - Second Test
« on: May 25, 2012, 11:23:38 AM »
After winning the toss and choosing to bat, W.I closed day one on 304/6.  An excellent unbroken  7th wicket stand  between Sammy and Samuels of 168 rescued W.I's from the brink after another top-order collapse. Sammy 88 n.o and Samuels 107 n.o. :applause:

Entertainment & Culture Discussion / RIP Donna Summer
« on: May 17, 2012, 10:30:36 AM »

Disco queen Donna Summer dead at 63, report says
Published May 17, 2012

Developing: Legendary disco singer Donna Summer died Thursday after a battle with cancer, according to a report from TMZ.
Summer, 63, was a 5-time Grammy winner whose hits dominated the charts in the 1970s. Her songs like “Last Dance,” “Bad Girls” and “Hot Stuff” were among the decade’s most successful.
She continued topping charts into the 1980s, with hits like “She Works Hard for the Money” and“This Time I Know It’s for Real.”
She is survived by her husband, singer and producer Bruce Sudano, their daughters, Brooklyn and Amanda and Summer's daughter, Mimi, from a previous marriage.
Calls to Summer’s publicist were not immediately returned Thursday.

Read more:

Cricket Anyone / IPL Auction 2012.
« on: February 04, 2012, 07:55:20 AM »
Anyone following the IPL auction ? I've been checking up on the West Indies players up for auction, more so the Trini boys, and I saw that Sunil Narine was  purchased today by Kolkata Knight Riders for $700,000 USD after having a base price of just 50 K !!
Congrats to him...I guess all the exposure he got in the red white and black is paying off.
Little Bravo went for $100,000 and Cooper went for $50,000....not big money by any means but the exposure and experience he would get from playing in the IPL will be enormous.

« on: December 17, 2011, 08:39:18 AM »
I stumbled upon this article this morning and thought I'd share it. Found it to be quite enlightening.Don't know if it was posted before....

Golden Rules For Finding Your Life Partner
by Dov Heller, M.A

When it comes to making the decision about choosing a life partner, no one wants to make a mistake. Yet, with a divorce rate of close to 50%, it appears that many are making serious mistakes in their approach to finding Mr./Miss. Right!

If you ask most couples who are engaged why they're getting married, they'll say: 'We're in love.' I believe this is the #1 mistake people make when they date. Choosing a life partner should never be based on love. Though this may sound 'not politically correct', there's a profound truth here.

Love is not the basis for getting married. Rather, love is the result of a good marriage. When the other ingredients are right, then the love will come. Let me say it again: 'You can't build a lifetime relationship on love alone'. You need a lot more!!!

Here are five questions you must ask yourself if you're serious about finding and keeping a life partner.
Do we share a common life purpose? Why is this so important? Let me put it this way: If you're married for 20 or 30 years, that's a longtime to live with someone. What do you plan to do with each other all that time? Travel, eat and jog together? You need to share something deeper and more meaningful. You need a common life purpose.
Two things can happen in a marriage: (1) You can grow together, or (2) You can grow apart. Fifty percent (50%) of the people out there are growing apart. To make a marriage work, you need to know what you want out of life! The BOTTOM LINE -- MARRY SOMEONE WHO WANTS THE SAME THING!!!!!
Do I feel safe expressing my feelings and thoughts with this person? This question goes to the core of the quality of your relationship. Feeling safe means you can communicate openly with this person. The basis of having good communication is trust ( i.e., trust that I won't get 'punished' or hurt for expressing my honest thoughts and feelings.)
A colleague of mine defines an abusive person as someone with whom you feel afraid to express your thoughts and feelings. Be honest with yourself on this one. Make sure you feel emotionally safe with the person you plan to marry.
Is he/she a mensch? A mensch is someone who is a refined and sensitive person. How can you test? Here are some suggestions: Do they work on personal growth on a regular basis? Are they serious about improving themselves?
A teacher of mine defines a good person as 'someone who is always striving to be good and do the right thing'. So ask about your Significant Other...What do they do with their time? Is this person materialistic? Usually a materialistic person is not some one whose top priority is character refinement.
There are essentially two types of people in the world: (1) People who are dedicated to personal growth and (2) People who are dedicated to seeking comfort.
Someone whose goal in life is to be comfortable will put personal comfort ahead of doing the right thing. You need to know that before walking down the aisle.
How does he/she treat other people? The one most important thing that makes any relationship work is the ability to give. By giving, we mean the ability to give another person pleasure.
Ask: Is this someone who enjoys giving pleasure to others or are they wrapped up in themselves and self-absorbed? To measure this, think about the following: How do they treat people whom they do not have to be nice to, such as waiters, bus boys, taxi drivers, etc. How do they treat their parents and siblings? Do they have gratitude and appreciation? If they don't have gratitude for the people who have given them everything; can you do nearly as much for them? You can be sure that someone who treats others poorly, will eventually treat you poorly as well.
Is there anything I'm hoping to change about this person after we're married? Too many people make the mistake of marrying someone with the intention of trying to 'improve' them after they're married. As a colleague of mine puts it: 'You can probably expect someone to change after marriage for the worse' If you cannot fully accept this person the way they are now, then you are not ready to marry them.
In conclusion, dating doesn't have to be difficult and treacherous. The key is to try leading a little more with your head and less with your heart. It pays to be as objective as possible when you are dating; to be sure to ask questions that will help you get to the key issues.
Falling in love is a great feeling, but when you wake up with a ring on your finger, you don't want to find yourself in trouble because you didn't do your homework.
Another Perspective....
There are some people in your life that need to be loved from a distance. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you let go of or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not-going anywhere relationships. Observe the relationships around you.
Pay attention. Which ones lift and which ones lean? Which ones encourage and which ones discourage? Which ones are on a path of growth uphill and which ones are going downhill? When you leave certain people do you feel better or feel worse? Which ones always have drama or don't really understand, know, or appreciate you? The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you, the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the front row and who should be moved to the balcony of your life.
An African proverb states, 'Before you get married, keep both eyes open, and after you marry, close one eye'. Before you get involved and make a commitment to someone, don't let lust, pity, desperation, immaturity, ignorance, pressure from others or a low self-esteem make you blind to warning signs. Keep your eyes open, and don't fool yourself that you can change someone or that what you see as faults aren't really that important.
Do you bring out the best in each other? Do you compliment and compromise with each other, or do you compete, compare and control? What do you bring to the relationship? Do you bring past relationships, past hurt, past mistrust, past pain? You can't take someone to the altar to alter them. You can't make someone love you or make someone stay. If you develop self-esteem, spiritual discernment, and 'a life,' you won't find yourself making someone else responsible for your happiness or be responsible for your pain. Seeking status, sex, and security are the wrong reasons to be in a relationship.
7. DAILY EXCHANGES (meal, shared activity, hug, call, touch, notes, etc.)
If these qualities are missing, the relationship will erode as resentment, withdrawal, abuse, neglect, dishonesty, and pain replace it. Remember:
Happiness keeps You Sweet,
Trials keep You Strong,
Sorrows keep You Human,
Failures keep You Humble,
Success keeps You Glowing,

Cricket Anyone / Ex-skipper Ganga out of T20 squad
« on: December 08, 2011, 07:02:11 PM »
Ex-skipper Ganga out of T20 squad
December 8, 2011

FOR THE first time in nearly a decade Daren Ganga will not feature in the customary role of captain or player in the national team named on Thursday for the first regional tournament of 2012, the Caribbean T20 Championships early next month.

Ganga who resigned as captain suddenly last month but made himself available for selection to play as a batsman failed to make the cut with the National Selectors as defending champions T&T look to successfully defend their title.

The T&T team will be captained by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin and it is strengthened by the inclusion of allrounder Dwayne Bravo, back from injury and the globe-trotting Kieron Pollard who both did not take part in the tournament last year.

Also included in the 14-man squad are West Indies Test players Lendl Simmons, Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo and Ravi Rampaul. Also picked are Jason Mohammed, the solid middle-order batsman and mystery spinner Sunil Narine who were recently called to the regional team for the current One-Day series against India.

T&T Team:

Denesh Ramdin - Captain

Lendl Simmons

Adrian Barath

Jason Mohammed

Darren Bravo

Dwayne Bravo

Kieron Pollard

Kervon Cooper

Sunil Narine

Ravi Rampaul

Samuel Badree

Sherwin Ganga

Rayad Emrit

Justin Guillen

Omar Khan - Manager

Kelvin Williams - Coach

General Discussion / US BIG STICK FOR RAUL
« on: December 07, 2011, 07:07:01 AM »
Hilton blocked from hosting Caricom conference attended by Cuban president

By Julien Neaves
Story Created: Dec 6, 2011 at 11:57 PM ECT
 Story Updated: Dec 6, 2011 at 11:57 PM ECT

US-BASED hotel chain Hilton Worldwide has been denied a special licence from the US Government to allow for the IV Caricom/Cuba Summit to be held at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre with visiting Cuban President Raul Castro.
The two-day summit, which starts today, will instead be held at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) in Port of Spain.
Castro, who arrives in Trinidad and Tobago this morning and leaves on Friday, will be staying at the Kapok Hotel, St Clair, though according to officials at the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Cuban Embassy, this was his original accommodation.
Asked yesterday whether Hilton Trinidad had declined Castro accommodation, Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Suruj Rambachan said he did not know anything about that. He said, though, that due to Castro's large delegation, they had to be accommodated at the Kapok hotel.
He could not be reached last night in light of the new information from Hilton Worldwide.
Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre general manager Ali Khan last night read to the Express a statement from Hilton Worldwide, entitled "Hilton Worldwide regarding Caricom/Cuba Summit".
He read: "As a US-based company, Hilton Worldwide is subject to US law, which restricts certain activities as a result of the trade embargo with Cuba. The US/Cuban assets control regulations administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) at the US Department of the Treasury generally prohibits US-based companies from providing any services that benefit the Cuban Government unless specifically licensed. Violations are subject to significant civil and criminal penalties.
"While we have worked with the appropriate governmental agencies in the US and Trinidad and Tobago to secure a licence, we have been informed that one will not be granted."
According to the US Treasury website, OFAC "administers and enforces US economic and trade sanctions against targeted foreign countries".
Hilton Worldwide advised in its letter that further questions should be posed to the US Embassy in Trinidad and Tobago. Attempts to contact officials at the US Embassy in Trinidad last night via telephone were unsuccessful.
A media release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, dated December 1, 2011, stated that the summit would be held at the Hilton Trinidad and Conference Centre; but in a follow-up release on December 6, it stated the summit would be held "in Port of Spain". A release from Government Information Services Ltd, dated December 5, stated that the summit would be held at NAPA between today and tomorrow.
At the 2008 Caricom/Cuba Summit in Cuba, 14 Caribbean heads of state called on US President Barack Obama to remove the decades-old trade embargo between the US and Cuba.
The embargo still stands today with minor adjustments.
Courtesy calls for Castro
During his two-day visit to Trinidad and Tobago, Cuban President Raul Castro is scheduled to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph, Memorial Park.
He will also pay courtesy calls on Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, with whom he will also attend a bilateral meeting, and President George Maxwell Richards.
Castro is scheduled to arrive in Trinidad and Tobago today for his first State visit to this country.
During his visit, he will be participating in the fourth Caricom-Cuba Summit today and tomorrow at the National Academy for the Performing Arts in Port of Spain.
The other scheduled participants at the Summit are 15 heads of state/ Government of Caricom member states, Caricom Secretary General Irwin LaRocque and Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Dr Len Ishmael.
President Richards and his wife, Dr Jean Ramjohn-Richards, will be hosting a State dinner tonight, on the occasion of the visit. Castro is scheduled to leave Trinidad on Friday.
Castro has served as President of Cuba since his brother, Fidel, resigned in 2008 after 49 years as Cuba's leader, the latter receiving Caricom's highest honour, the Order of the Caribbean Community, that same year.
The first Caricom-Cuba Summit was held in Havana, Cuba, on December 8, 2002, and the Havana Declaration was adopted on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the four Caricom countries that were independent at that time—Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. It was also decided to commemorate December 8 each year as Cuba-Caricom Day, and to establish a summit every three years on that date.
Two further high-level meetings between Caricom and Cuba have been held—in Barbados in 2005, and in Santiago de Cuba in 2008.
Fidel Castro visited Trinidad and Tobago in 1995, when he attended a conference of the Association of Caribbean States, which was held at the Hilton.

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