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Published:Tuesday | November 4, 2014 | 11:00 AM
Persad-Bissessar

Special CARICOM conference on Ebola and Chikungunya for Trinidad today

GEORGETOWN (CMC): The 17th Special Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will be held in Trinidad and Tobago today to discuss the global virus, Ebola, as well as Chikungunya.

The primary purpose of the meeting is to review action being taken regarding the current challenging public health issues facing the CARICOM region, namely the Ebola virus and chikungunya, and to agree on a way forward.

In September, Trinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar called for the special meeting of CARICOM to discuss the public health issues.

The call was reiterated by Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas of St Kitts and Nevis, the lead head of government for HIV/AIDS within CARICOM.

At the upcoming meeting, CARICOM Heads will also seek to arrive at a consensus with regard to the CARICOM candidate for the post of Commonwealth secretary general.

Crackdown on illegal migrants begins

NASSAU (CMC): The Bahamas government confirmed that 76 people had been arrested over the last weekend after they failed to meet the new requirements for staying legally in the country.

Immigration Minister Fred Mitchell also denied reports that children were detained and placed in the Carmichael Road detention centre during the exercise on the weekend.

"Some people have expressed concern about children, and I would only say that we are seeking the intervention of the Department of Social Services where this is necessary," Mitchell told a news conference on his return to the country from the United Arab Emirates on the weekend.

He told reporters that the administrative measures announced by the department on work permits, certificates of identity, and residency permits had gone into effect, and on the weekend "there was a routine interdiction exercise ... which resulted in some 76 arrests".

Mitchell accused "some elements in the community" of transforming the exercise "into something which it is not".

He said that there have been interdictions every day, every week, and last weekend's exercise "was no different from what the department ordinarily does and should not be used to inflame passions.

"It appears now that some political operatives have gotten into the matter with a view to seeking to sow the seeds of division. I ask them to desist. I ask the leaders of the opposition parties to speak to trolls on social media to resist the temptation to sow seeds of discord. I have asked our supporters to do the same."

New US restrictions for European, other travellers

WASHINGTON (AP): The Homeland Security Department is adding new screening requirements for Europeans and other travellers from countries for which a visa isn't required for United States (US) entry.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says travellers from 38 Visa Waiver Program countries, including most of Europe, will have to provide more passport data, contact information, and aliases before they can travel to the United States.

The move comes amid growing concern of threats from Western fighters returning from Syria.

Yesterday's decision to add scrutiny for foreign travellers is the second time in a week that Johnson has announced security changes. Last Tuesday, he announced extra security at various federal government buildings in Washington and other major American cities in the wake of a fatal shooting in Canada's capital city.