International and Regional Briefs
Broadcasting giant Larry King dies at 87
Larry King, the suspenders-sporting everyman whose broadcast interviews with world leaders, movie stars and ordinary Joes helped define American conversation for a half-century, died yesterday. He was 87.
King died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his production company, Ora Media, tweeted. No cause of death was given, but a spokesperson said January 4 that King had COVID-19, had received supplemental oxygen and had been moved out of intensive care. His son Chance Armstrong also confirmed King’s death, CNN reported.
A long-time nationally syndicated radio host, from 1985 through 2010 King was a nightly fixture on CNN, where he won many honours, including two Peabody awards.
With his celebrity interviews, political debates and topical discussions, King wasn’t just an enduring on-air personality. He also set himself apart with the curiosity he brought to every interview, whether questioning the assault victim known as the Central Park jogger or billionaire industrialist Ross Perot, who in 1992 rocked the presidential contest by announcing his candidacy on King’s show.
He was the plainspoken go-between through whom Beltway bigwigs could reach their public, and they did, earning the ‘Larry King Live’ show prestige as a place where things happened, where news was made.
King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews. In 1995 he presided over a Middle East peace summit with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, King Hussein of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. He welcomed everyone from the Dalai Lama to Elizabeth Taylor, from Mikhail Gorbachev to Barack Obama, Bill Gates to Lady Gaga.
King boasted of never overpreparing for an interview. His non-confrontational style relaxed his guests and made him readily relatable to his audience.
ACM mourns death of regional journalist George Alleyne
The Association of Caribbean Media Workers is mourning the passing of regional journalist, George Alleyne. The Guyana-born media professional died suddenly at his home in Barbados on Friday.
Ian George Alleyne worked in media for close to 40 years. He started his journalistic career at the Government Information Service in the early 1980s and transferred to the state-owned Guyana Chronicle, the lone daily newspaper in Guyana at the time.
He served at the Guyana Chronicle until around 1989 when he migrated to Canada.
George covered politics, sports, and trade while at the Guyana Chronicle and published several articles for ethnic newspapers in Canada while there up to mid-95.
He returned home in Guyana, spent a few years, and then moved to Barbados to join his Barbadian father and sisters. There he joined the Caribbean News Agency (CANA) as an information specialist subediting, reporting and writing features on the news desk of the CANA Wire Service until its merger with the Caribbean Broadcasting Union to become the Caribbean Media Corporation in 2000.
For the last eight years he was a freelance reporter for Barbados Today. He was also a very active contributor to New York-based Caribbean Life newspaper.
George was a committed and avid regionalist and believed in Caribbean unity.
No new protocols following discovery of UK COVID-19 variant in T&T
As health officials urged the population not to panic about the discovery of the United Kingdom (UK) variant of COVID-19 in Trinidad and Tobago, Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh on Friday said there would be no new restrictions or protocols in the twin-island republic.
Speaking at a virtual press conference a day after the health ministry disclosed that a Trinidadian national had returned to the twin-island republic carrying the UK COVID-19 Variant of Concern (Variant B117), he said this “index case has been successfully contained” by the existing quarantine protocols.
Research has suggested that the UK strain is more easily spread from person to person than previous strains. It is estimated to be 50 per cent more transmissible.
Although not denying the case was of concern to authorities, Deyalsingh said the country would respond “calmly, logically and in the best interest of all”.
As of January 19, sixty countries and territories outside the UK have reported imported cases or community transmission of Variant B117.
The repatriated national who brought the variant home had provided a negative PCR test that was taken 72 hours prior to departure from the UK, in keeping with Trinidad and Tobago’s quarantine protocols.
The ministry said returning nationals from the UK will be required to be in state quarantine for 14 days, while returning nationals from all other high-risk countries will be subject to seven days state quarantine and seven days home quarantine.
Bahamas eases COVID-19 restrictions
The Government of The Bahamas will be easing some of the restrictions that have been implemented to halt the spread of COVID-19.
In a statement on Thursday, the Office of the Prime Minister said that as of today, pharmacies, gas stations and laundromats will now be permitted to operate between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. (local time) on the islands of New Providence and Abaco.