Jamaica, Trinidad Battle Violence as Drug Smuggling Plagues Caribbean

first_img “Other security and economic problems in Jamaica may have helped turned voters back to the PNP. Jamaica has one of the highest murder rates in the Caribbean, on an island of just under 3 million people. Joblessness and a listless economy were other top issues,” suggested a Jan. 4 editorial in the online Pan-American Post. “ The question now is whether with such a strong majority in Congress, the PNP will have the gravitas to institute serious policy changes,” the article said. “Previously, when Congress was more closely divided, it was more difficult to push legislation through. Now it will be tougher for the PNP to blame Labor Party opposition, if Jamaica does not start seeing improvements in security or the economy soon.” Trinidad fears deteriorating security situation In fact, drugs flow freely not only from Trinidad and Jamaica into the United States, but also between the two Caribbean islands. “We have been seeing the movement of drugs including cocaine into Jamaica from Trinidad,” Linval Bailey, vice-president of security for the Port Authority of Jamaica, told the Trinidad Express in December, adding that 8 percent of the cocaine seized in Jamaica during 2010 came from Trinidad. He explained that in decades past, interdiction successes in the Caribbean, coupled with a changing dynamic between Colombian and Mexican drug traffickers, led to a shift in transit routes toward Mexico and Central America. Now, interdiction efforts in Mexico and South America are having the reverse effect. Trinidad’s attorney general, Anand Ramlogan, said the temporary state of emergency that ended in December was necessary after intelligence revealed an “immediate threat and endangerment of public safety.” “Innocent citizens could have lost their lives had we not declared a state of emergency and taken swift and immediate action,” he said. “When the state of emergency was declared … it was in response to intelligence received from the security agencies which we cannot share with the population but which I can assure you we averted a crisis.” Ramlogan added that the measure had stopped “a further $100 million of cocaine coming into the country on a weekly basis.” Newsday, one of Trinidad’s major newspapers, endorsed the state of emergency, as did the Trinidad Guardian. In an editorial, Newsday said the emergency declaration could be temporarily bad for business, but that “this will prove in the medium and long term a relatively small price to pay if the recently imposed state of emergency has the desired impact in the battle against crime.” With 638 miles of coastline, over 100 unmonitored airstrips and an open ocean for speedboats, Jamaica is considered a key transit location for illegal narcotics, transported either via way stations located on the coast or moved up to the Bahamas, and then directly to U.S. and European markets. “Not only is Jamaica an important pitstop for the trafficking of Colombian cocaine, South American heroin and Mexican marijuana, but it is also the Caribbean’s leading producer and exporter of marijuana,” according to a report by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. “As corruption and organized crime have become a serious impediment to judicial efforts aimed to curb the flow of illegal substances and laundered funds, Jamaican officials are working closely with their U.S. counterparts to initiate and fortify counter-drug legislation and procedures in hopes of cutting illegal narcotic-related activities on the island,” the COHA report concluded. By Dialogo January 09, 2012 The Caribbean’s reputation as a world-famous vacation paradise is increasingly being sullied by a violent wave of drug smuggling, kidnapping and murder — especially in the region’s two largest English-speaking countries: Jamaica and the twin-island republic of Trinidad and Tobago. In August, Trinidad’s prime minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, declared a limited state of emergency after 11 people were killed in four days. She attributed the killings to narcotics seizures and expressed grave concern that drug gangs are using Trinidad as a transshipment point for South American cocaine heading to Europe and the United States. The state of emergency was extended in September and finally lifted Dec. 5. But the nation of 1.3 million remains beset by drug-related crime and violence, with at least 15 murders occurring since the state of emergency ended and more than 350 homicides reported for all of 2011. Trinidadian leaders worry that their country is becoming a major transshipment point for South American cocaine destined for Europe and the United States — as well as a significant hub for arms smuggling and money laundering. Its location only seven miles off the Venezuelan coast and its well-developed banking and transportation infrastructure make it a convenient destination for a wide range of illegal activities. UNODC: Jamaica’s murder rate is world’s fourth highest Meanwhile, Jamaica — a leading international tourist destination — also suffers the ravages of the illegal drug trade. In 2010, Jamaica had a homicide rate of 52 per 100,000, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. That made it the fourth most-violent country in the world after Honduras, El Salvador and Cote d’Ivoire, although Jamaica’s homicide rate plunged last year following a crackdown by the island’s former prime minister, Bruce Golding. The high-profile case of Kingston drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke, described as one of the world’s most dangerous drug dealers, made headlines as international authorities waged an all-out manhunt for him. The hunt ended with Coke’s arrest in June 2010, but only after a confrontation that killed 73 civilians and three security officers over four days of fighting. The Coke case also prompted Jamaican authorities to issue a temporary state of emergency. But Golding’s handling of a 2009 U.S. extradition request for Coke cost his Jamaica Labor Party (JLP) an election victory late last month — returning Portia Simpson Miller’s center-left People’s National Party (PNP) to power for the first time since 2007. last_img read more

Shell approves LNG Canada investment

first_img$1,000 per tonne Image courtesy of LNG CanadaThe Hague-based LNG giant Shell has taken a final investment decision on LNG Canada, a major liquefied natural gas export project in Kitimat, British Columbia.With LNG Canada’s joint venture participants also having taken FID, construction will start immediately with first LNG expected before the middle of the next decade, Shell said in a statement on Monday.Besides Shell, LNG Canada JV partners include Malaysia’s Petronas, PetroChina, Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation and Kogas of South KoreaShell has a 40 percent interest in the C$40 billion ($31 billion) LNG project via its unit Shell Canada Energy.Shell’s share of the project’s capital cost is within the company’s current overall capital investment guidance of $25-30 billion per year, the company said.LNG Canada will initially export LNG from two trains totaling 14 million tonnes per annum (mtpa), with the potential to expand to four trains in the future.It is advantaged by access to abundant, low-cost natural gas from British Columbia’s vast resources and the relatively short shipping distance to North Asia, which is about 50% shorter than from the US Gulf of Mexico and avoids the Panama Canal, according to Shell.Image: LNG CanadaThe joint venture of JGC-Fluor Corporation has been previously selected as the project’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor.“We believe LNG Canada is the right project, in the right place, at the right time,” Ben van Beurden, Shell’s chief said in the statement.“Supplying natural gas over the coming decades will be critical as the world transitions to a lower carbon energy system. Global LNG demand is expected to double by 2035 compared with today, with much of this growth coming from Asia where gas displaces coal,” he said.According to van Beurden, LNG Canada is “well positioned” to help Shell meet the growing needs of customers at a time when the company sees an LNG supply shortage in its outlook.“With significant integration advantages from the upstream through to trading, LNG Canada is expected to deliver Shell an integrated internal rate of return of some 13%, while the cash flow it generates is expected to be significant, long life and resilient,” van Beurden said. The LNG Canada plant will be constructed under a single EPC lump-sum contract at an estimated cost of some $1,000 per tonne of LNG, Shell said.According to Shell, the cost to deliver LNG into Asia is expected to be” structurally advantaged” compared to a greenfield development on the US Gulf coast.Regarding the feed gas to the plant, each joint venture participant will be responsible for providing its own natural gas supply and will individually offtake and market its own LNG.Shell’s Groundbirch asset in Northeast British Columbia can provide the majority of Shell’s equity share of natural gas or the company will buy gas from the market, depending on which option provides the most value, it said.TransCanada Corporation will build, own and operate the Coastal GasLink pipeline that will be built to connect upstream gas supply to the LNG Canada plant.last_img read more

Jimmy Butler free agency rumors: NBA execs believe 76ers will give forward max contract offer

first_img 76ers’ Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris address impending free agency The 76ers acquired Butler from the Timberwolves in mid-November in exchange for a package centered around Dario Saric and Robert Covington.ESPN initially reported after Butler was traded that the goal for both sides was to reach a long-term deal. But as the season went on, there were reports of tension between Butler and coach Brett Brown, leading some to question whether Butler would sign somewhere else in free agency. Butler addressed his impending free agency last month, indicating he’s hoping to join a franchise that wants to win. “Hopefully I’ll get a max contract anywhere I choose to go,” Butler told reporters. “You always want to be able to win, I think that’s key for sure. You’re looking at coaches, you’re looking at the city. There’s a lot that goes into it.“For me, as long as I got my people with me, they’re happy, they’re smiling and we’re waking up knowing we’re getting to work in an environment where we’re having fun … but I’m a long way away from that,” Butler said. “I’m not too focused on that right now.”Butler averaged 18.2 points in 55 regular-season appearances for Philadelphia. During the playoffs, he averaged 19.4 points before the 76ers were eliminated by the Raptors in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Jimmy Butler free agency rumors: Nets have a ‘real shot at landing’ forward Windhorst said on his “The Hoop Collective” podcast earlier this week:”I’ve been talking to some executives this week and the executives, I think, now believe that the Sixers will (offer a max contract),” he said. “I don’t know about the fifth year, like, full guaranteed, but yeah.” Related News Lakers free agency rumors: LeBron James has been in ‘contact’ with Kawhi Leonard, Jimmy Butler Could Jimmy Butler stay with the 76ers when free agency begins this offseason? Some NBA executives believe that Philadelphia will do everything it can to keep the forward, according to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, including offering the 29-year-old forward a max contract to stay.last_img read more

Sofia: Fourth Victory of BH Basketball Players

first_imgOn the European Championship of B Division for players up to 20 years in Sofia, women’s basketball team of Bosnia and Herzegovina has made their fourth victory After six rounds our basketball players share the third place with a selection of Lithuania with four victories and two defeats. The most efficient player in the BH team was again Marica Gajić with 23 points, while Nikolina Babić and Anđela Delić scored 11 points. In the sixth round, the chosen players of Zoran Mikeš won the selection of Great Britain with 60:53 (14:16, 18:19, 17:10, 11:8).center_img On July 11th  the match against Bulgaria will take place. A day later they will meets with Germany and in the final round on July 13th  with Portugal. (Source: Fena/photo four.ba)last_img read more