Caribbean News in Brief – August 13-09

FLU ALERT

Castries, St. Lucia: Health officials are beefing up their surveillance and public sensitization on the H1NI virus, formerly known as swine flu, following signs of community transmission in the country.

The Ministry of Health has confirmed three new cases, increasing the total number of confirmed H1N1 cases to six so far, but officials say they do not know how one of the victims contracted the virus.

Senior Medical Officer Dr. Merlene Frederick confirmed that the victims include two children – ages two years and five months – and one 20-year-old. She also said that a tourist who tested positive for the virus has left the island.

Dr. Frederick said the virus is expected to spread throughout the nation adding, however, that St. Lucia has adequate stocks of the Tamiflu medication which is used to treat virus carriers.

MONEY RETURNED

Dallas, USA: Politicians in the United States have returned US$87,800 in contributions received from fraud accused, Sir Allen Stanford.

Stanford, who is accused of conducting a US$8 billion dollar fraud through his Antigua-based Stanford International Bank, had made several contributions to politicians in the U.S. and Antigua.

U.S. receiver Ralph Janvey says he urged the politicians to return the funds so victims of Sir Allen’s alleged fraud could get their money back.

In a statement on his website, Janvey said a total of 19 contributions, ranging from US$1,000 to US$16,000, had been returned.

Among them were politicians running for Congress and the Senate.

There has been no indication that any of the Antiguan political parties which publicly received funds from Sir Allen have returned the money.

INTEGRATING MAGISTRY

 Castries, St. Lucia: Attorneys General from Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) recently met to advance plans for integration of the Magistracy in the sub-region.

They want to bring the Magistracy under the administrative control of the OECS Court of Appeal and eventually integrate it into the court system to ensure speedier justice and strengthen the magistracy.

During the meeting, additional legislative changes needed to give effect to the proposed agreement was discussed. 

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