Mon | Sep 23, 2019

Regional Briefs

Published:Tuesday | July 23, 2019 | 12:10 AM

St Vincent and Grenadines to get first female head of state

KINGSTOWN, ST Vincent (CMC):

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves says he has written to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth requesting that retired educator, Susan Dougan, be named as the new governor general in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Gonsalves said he had written to the Queen seeking the replacement of 83-year-old Sir Frederick Nathaniel Ballantyne, who “is not in the best of health and has indicated his desire to demit office on the 31st of July”.

“A few days ago, the Palace – Buckingham Palace – informed our government that Her Majesty had approved the recommendation of her prime minister in this regard, and the instrument of Her Excellency’s appointment is on its way to us,” Gonsalves said.

Dougan, who now serves as deputy governor general and will become the island’s first female head of state, will take up her appointment on August 1.

Sir Frederick has been head of state since September 2, 2002.

Caribbean nationals elected to serve on UN Dispute Tribunal

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):

Two Caribbean nationals have been elected to serve as “half-time” judges on the United Nations Dispute Tribunal (UNDT).

Justices Francis Belle of Barbados and Justice Eleanor Donaldson-Honeywell of Trinidad and Tobago, will serve their seven-year terms of office on rotation in New York, Geneva, and Kenya.

Four judges were elected by secret ballot on July 10 with justices from Malawi and Uganda being the others.

They will serve on one of two entities — the other being the United Nations Appeals Tribunal — that comprise the Organisation’s system of the administration of justice for employment-related disputes. Half-time judges on the Dispute Tribunal are deployed up to a cumulative period of six months per year, as decided by the President based on the case load and any judicial absences affecting the work of the Tribunal.

Pepper-sprayed protester compensated

HAMILTON, Bermuda (CMC):

A protester hit by pepper spray used by police during a protest over a new airport terminal almost three years ago has received US$48,000 in compensation, former premier Michael Dunkley has said.

He told Parliament that the unidentified person was among 28 settlements made in money drawn from the Royal Bermuda Regiment’s contingency fund.

Dunkley gave no explanation over the size of the payment compared to the others.

Dunkley, who served as premier at the time of the demonstration over the new airport terminal, which is due to open next year, told legislators a “concerned Bermudian” received the figure in response to a public access to information request.

UK, Cayman probe gold smuggling operation

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands (CMC):

Authorities in this British overseas dependent territory are working closing with the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) to investigate millions of dollars worth of gold that was seized at London’s Heathrow International airport last month.

The NCA says the gold, intercepted in the UK by Border Force officers, is thought to be part of a South American drug cartel operation that used the Cayman Islands as a stopping point.

“It was being transported from the Cayman Islands to Switzerland, having earlier been shipped to the Caymans on a private jet which had arrived from Venezuela,” the NCA said in a press release.

“The gold is now the subject of a money laundering investigation being run by the Cayman authorities, with the assistance of the NCA.”

Following a court hearing, the seized gold that weighs nearly 230 pounds and is being held under the UK’s Proceeds of Crime Act.