Paramaribo, Suriname (CMC):
President Ronald Venetiaan and members of his Cabinet toured several areas of the capital on Tuesday after heavy rains and strong winds severely damaged homes, uprooted trees and power lines on Monday. No casualties were reported but one woman was reported to have suffered a fractured leg when she was hit by a falling tree.
The National Coordinator Center for Disaster Management said that repair work has already started, but the cost of the damage caused by the weather is yet to be ascertained. Officials said that Monday's weather destruction is in addition to the damage caused on December 27, when heavy rains and strong winds blew away a number of roofs and damaged several vehicles. Venetiaan told reporters that he wanted a first-hand look at the damage and that the government would be providing assistance to persons affected.
One legislator, Jenny Geerlings-Simons, said that the weather pattern has changed over the last 20 years and meteorologist Roel Oehlers has warned that Suriname should be prepared for more adverse weather .
ST GEORGE'S, Grenada (CMC):
Prime Minister Tillman Thomas has voiced his strongest objection to moves by foreign investors to get his administration to introduce casino gambling on the island.
Speaking on a television programme on Monday night, Thomas, who has already indicated his opposition to casino gambling, said he would not be part of a Cabinet guilty of deceiving the country.
"Cabinet cannot conspire against the people in a democracy. Cabinet is run by consensus. At the same time a Cabinet ought to be sensitive and reflect values and the aims and aspirations of the people.
"Cabinet has, in the past, deceived the people. I would not be part of a Cabinet that has deceived the people of our country," Prime Minister Thomas told television viewers, ruling out also the idea of a vote in cabinet or parliament on the matter.
The comments by Thomas have added fuel to the national debate on the issue of casino gambling that became a major issue last year.
NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC):
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham has sent out a stern warning to criminals as he outlined new strategies to deal with the escalating criminal activities in the country. Addressing the ceremony to mark the installation of a new commissioner for the Royal Bahamas Police Force on Monday, Ingraham told criminals "it is a lazy, unmanly and, yes, an unpatriotic copout to use your family or social conditions or personal failings as an excuse for criminal violence."
Ingraham warned citizens that the country should not be seen as "anyone's parent" and that "if you choose to act irresponsibly, the State will treat you with the response you deserve.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC):
Three policemen are assisting their colleagues in probing the disappearance of G$3.4 million (US$17,000) from a safe at the Police Headquarters in Eve Leary, in the capital.
"There were no signs of any breakage to the Office," the police said in a statement, adding "the monies were in a locked canister that was secured in a locked cashier cage".
The statement said that the three police officers, who have not been identified, "were responsible for the monies and the keys," the police said.
This is the second time in less than a year that monies have disappeared from secured safes at the police compound.