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Regional Briefs

Published:Wednesday | July 3, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Jamaican among 14 homeless following apartment fire

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):

A fire at an apartment complex in the town of Curepe in Trinidad and Tobago has left 14 persons, including a Jamaican national and three Cubans, homeless.

Investigations are still being carried out to determine the cause of the blaze that started shortly after 4 p.m. on Monday.

The own­ers of the build­ing, Farhad and Tara Mo­hammed, told the Trinidad Guardian that the fire was reignit­ed twice and accused the emergency response team of not doing a proper job in extinguishing the flames. ­

The build­ing is es­ti­mat­ed to be val­ued at TT$4 mil­lion (J$77 million).



CARICOM leaders meet on wide-ranging agenda


Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders will open their 40th annual summit in St Lucia today, hoping to further push along the much-heralded CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) that they regard as the region’s best chance of survival in a changing global environment.

“Basically, we will get an update on who has done what and who has not done,” CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque told a news conference, adding that while there has been some progress “but it is not as much as we anticipated”.

The CSME, which allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labour and services across the region, was the main topic of a special CARICOM summit held in Trinidad and Tobago in December last year.

At the end of the special summit, the regional leaders issued the St Ann’s Declaration that indicated the CSME is still regarded as being the most viable platform to support the region’s growth and development agenda.



IMF expresses concerns for Bahamas economy


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says while it welcomes the strengthening economic activity and the prospect of continued growth in the Bahamas, it is still concerned at the high unemployment rate, rising public debt and risks associated with external imbalances.

The Washington-based financial institution has since underscored the need for the Hubert Minnis administration to rebuild policy buffers, safeguard financial stability and further enhance resilience to natural disasters.

The IMF is projecting that economic growth will be 1.8 per cent this year before converging to its potential of 1.5 per cent in the medium term.

It said the increase in inflation is projected to have been temporary.

“Domestic bottlenecks and lagging economic diversification constrain medium-term growth, and unemployment is projected to decline only gradually," the IMF noted.



T&T cops claim success in human trafficking fight

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):

Police Commissioner Gary Griffith says the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service is succeeding in cracking down on human trafficking in the twin-island republic.

Griffith made the comment following an incident last Saturday in which cops rescued six Venezuelan women and detained four suspects in connection with a suspected human trafficking ring.

“Because of the success we have been seeing, we’ve found systems to beat them at their game,” the police commissioner said.

Investigators say they al­so seized sev­er­al cel­lu­lar phones and doc­u­ments at the homes.