Caribbean News in Brief for August 11, 2011


Castries, St. Lucia: Following the initial alarm, no damage or injuries was caused by a moderate earthquake that occurred east of St. Lucia last Sunday and which was also felt in at least two other Caribbean islands.

The University of the West Indies Seismic Research Unit in Trinidad had initially measured the quake at a magnitude of 5.3 but the U.S. Geological Service put it at 5.0.

The tremor which struck at 12:01 a.m., at a depth of 24 miles, was felt in St. Vincent as well as Martinique.

The quake, which was followed by several aftershocks, was located 44 miles east southeast of St. Lucia’s capital, Castries, 70 miles northwest of Barbados, and 72 miles southeast of Fort-de-France, Martinique.


Port-au-Prince, Haiti: The United Nations has called on politicians in Haiti to search for a consensus amid the ongoing struggle between President Michel Martelly and Parliament over the confirmation of a new prime minister.

The call came in a release issued after lawyer and former justice minister Bernard Gousse was rejected by the Senate last week, a month and a half after the Chamber of Deputies refused to ratify the nomination of Martelly’s first pick, Daniel-Gerard Rouzie.

“MINUSTAH is concerned about the absence of a government in Haiti for almost three months,” the mission stated. “MINUSTAH respectfully reminds all political players in the country of their responsibility to work in the best interests of the nation.”

Haiti is still struggling to recover from the devastating 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people and displaced 2.3 million others.

Martelly has been unable to implement policies to help the struggling nation because of the stalemate in approving a prime minister and, therefore, a Cabinet.


Kingston, Jamaica: The Coffee Industry Board will be changing the quality standards and monitoring of Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee, effective September 1.

A statement from the Ministry of Agriculture said all coffee which carries the 100 per cent Jamaica Blue Mountain label must be of the same quality standard wherever it is offered.

It has been a long standing tradition to export the best quality Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee and the remainder used to service the local market despite not meeting export standard.

In a statement, the Ministry said it anticipated that local farmers in an attempt to meet the new rigorous standard will adjust the quality of the coffee products they currently offer to the Jamaican market.

The Coffee Industry Board will be publishing periodically, the results of the assessments of all coffees on the local market in order to inform consumers of the performance of licensed roasters.

Any substandard coffee detected by the Board will have to be removed from shelves by the licensed dealers.

As a result, consumers are asked to purchase only coffee products produced by licensed dealers.


Kingston, Jamaica: Another senior member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has opted for early retirement and a lucrative position with one of the country’s leading commercial banks.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Denver Frater, the Divisional Commander for Police Area One, will assume a senior post with Scotiabank in October after a 34 year stint in the JCF.

Frater has the distinction of being the first Superintendent to be promoted (in 2006) to his current rank while he was Director of Investigations and Community Outreach officer.

Frater holds a Masters of Science degree in National Security Strategic Studies as well as diploma in Strategic Management.

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