Barbadians Mourn The Loss Of Prime Minister David Thompson

Barbadians awoke to hear of the death of the Hon Prime Minister, David Thompson. The news spread like wild fire as phones kept ringing across households informing persons of the dreadful news. The PM died in the early hours of this morning.

The Hon. Freundel Stuart is the new Prime Minister of Barbados. He will be sworn in shortly today by Governor General Sir Clifford Husbands.

Our condolences to his wife, three daughtres, parents and extended family.

———–

Barbados has been plunged into mourning with the death of Prime Minister David Thompson. He died this morning at 2:10. According to reports, he died at his home in Mapps, St Philip with his family by his side.

Thompson served as Prime Minister of Barbados from January 2008 when the Democratic Labour Party won the government. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September.

It was during May that Thompson, accompanied by his personal physician Dr Richard Ishmael, announced to Barbadians that he was not well and was seeking medical attention.

On September 30 Thompson gave his last address to the nation, where he also announced a Cabinet reshuffle.

Thompson, 48, leaves to mourn his wife Mara and three daughters.

Tributes have already started to pour in.

Source

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B’dos PM Thompson Returns Home

Prime Minister David Thompson is back in Barbados three weeks after flying to New York to seek medical treatment, but he is not yet back on the job. It’s unclear when he will resume duties. Read more of this post

Barbados PM Thompson Diagnosed With Cancer

It has been confirmed that Barbados’  Prime Minister David Thompson is suffering from  pancreatic cancer. But his personal doctor,  Richard Ishmael, has reported that the Barbadian leader is responding to treatment and is physically well enough to continue leading the country. Read more of this post

18 Signs That America Is Rotting Right In Front Our Eyes

Sometimes it isn’t necessary to quote facts and figures about government debt, unemployment and the trade deficit in order to convey how badly America is decaying. Read more of this post

Did Global Elite Kill Polish President Kacznski ?

Damian Thompson, writing for the Daily Telegraph, says there will be plenty of conspiracy theories floating around cyberspace in response to the death of Polish president Lech Kaczynski and a large number of Polish VIPs in a plane crash last week. Read more of this post

Former PM Olmert Ranked Most Corrupt Leader In Israeli History

While just over half of Israelis think the Benjamin Netanyahu regime is just as corrupt as Ehud Olmert’s government was, the former prime minister won the contest for most corrupt ever, hands down. Read more of this post

Barbados Thompson’s Cabinet’s Reshuffle – Again

Team Barbados took on a completely different political look last night, after Prime Minister David Thompson tinkered with his Cabinet, making a number of changes he expects will allow Government to properly move the country out of the current economic crisis. Read more of this post

Caribbean Leaders To Meet World Bank President

St. Kitts and Nevis Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas and his colleagues from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) will seek to articulate its positions on the major challenges it faced when it holds discussion with the President of the World Bank at the Twenty-First Inter-Sessional Meeting in Dominica from 11th to 12th. Read more of this post

6-2 BLP Leadership Vote Retains Mottley

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With former Prime Minister Owen Arthur glaringly absent, Mottley was announced political leader and Leader of the Opposition shortly before 10 p.m. after a three-hour-long parliamentary group meeting.

Thanking the group for its confidence, she said it was critical for the party to move forward with certainty at this point since the Government was not performing. Read more of this post

Chavez- Obama Did Nothing To Deserve Nobel Peace Prize

Venezuela’s socialist leader Hugo Chavez said on Sunday that U.S. President Barack Obama had done nothing beyond wishful thinking to earn the Nobel Peace Prize.

Chavez, who has mixed praise for Obama personally with criticism of his government’s “imperialist” policies, said he thought it was a mistake when he read the U.S. leader had won.

“What has Obama done to deserve this prize? The jury put store on his hope for a nuclear arms-free world, forgetting his role in perpetuating his battalions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his decision to install new military bases in Colombia,” Chavez wrote in a column. Read more of this post

Nobel Prize Panel Defends Obama Award Decision

Members of the Norwegian committee that gave Barack Obama the Nobel peace prize have issued an extraordinary defence of their decision after a storm of criticism that the award was premature and a potential liability for the US president.Asked to comment on the uproar after Friday’s announcement, members of the five-strong panel said they had expected the decision to generate both surprise and criticism.

“We simply disagree that he has done nothing,” committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said. “He got the prize for what he has done.” Read more of this post

Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize Source Of ‘mockery’

obamaPundits believe that after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, US President Barack Obama is now open to criticism and even mockery, should he fail to deliver his promises. Paul Rogers, Professor of Peace Studies at the University of Bradford in Britain, yet argues that the “unusual” decision by the Nobel Committee is going to encourage Obama to complete an unfinished process.

“It is certainly a surprise (but) the Nobel Peace is quite often awarded for what you might call process, things under way, rather than completed achievements.” “We remember the prize being awarded to Nelson Mandela and Frederik De Klerk in the early nineties, before apartheid had ended,” he told AFP on Friday. Nevertheless, “there is certainly a risk that this could backfire. I would expect there to be very strong opposition to this decision in Republican circles in the United States,” the British university professor reiterated. Read more of this post

U.S. Nervous About China’s Growing Footprint Across Africa

China’s “no strings attached” financial assistance to developing countries in Africa and Asia has come under scrutiny during the recent high-level talks between Chinese and US leaders.

In this week’s (last week) Strategic and Economic Dialogue held in Washington, China has attempted to highlight its growing economic clout in a bid to push the United States on a range of thorny issues, such as the US budget deficit and trade barriers.

Few official media outlets reported that the United States delegates pressed Beijing on articulating clear guidelines for its growing aid to the developing world. China Business News only reported that the issue was raised between the two sides, but failed to furnish any other details. Read more of this post

Confident David Thompson In Motion

In a manner that demonstrated full confidence in Government’s performance, Prime Minister David Thompson last night delivered a stinging criticism on the behaviour of Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) in relation to errors of commission and of omission during its tenure in Government, specifically the former Minister of Finance and the former Minister of Economic Affairs.

Mr. Thompson was responding to charges in a Motion of No Confidence tabled by Opposition Leader, Mia Mottley. She had sought to have Parliament find the Prime Minister guilty of misleading the public on the soundness of CLICO Holdings Barbados, and of not acting promptly to ward off financial harm to investors and policyholders.

He described the Resolution as unnecessary, frivolous, vexatious, unfounded and childish.

Evidently concerned about the harm which irresponsible statements on the CLICO issue could do to that company and to the national economy, the PM said: “I wish from the outset to reiterate, for the benefit of the policyholders of CLICO International Life in Barbados, as well as the employees of CLICO subsidiaries, as well as persons who have made investments, whether in annuities or other forms of investment, that the Government of Barbados will do all in its power to promote their interests and their investments. We have said this from the outset.”

Mr. Thompson provided Parliament with details of prompt communications with his regional counterparts as well as with other Cabinet Ministers. Furthermore, a statement was crafted with the full knowledge and consent of the Governor of the Central Bank and the Supervisor of Insurance, to pass on pertinent information and thus calm any ears that might have arisen among interested parties in Barbados.

In that statement the Prime Minister gave the assurance to policyholders, employees and investors that the Government of Barbados would do everything in its power to ensure that their investments were safe.

To loud applause, he added: “The only entity to in Barbados that, in my view, could give comfort to policyholders, investors and employees would be the Government of Barbados. There is nothing higher than that; and there is no Government in the Caribbean that has yet given to their policyholders or to investors or to employees, any open-ended commitment as we did within a day of hearing what happened.

“We understood that confidence was critical, that any run on a financial institution would have an impact not only on that institution, but it would have an impact on all of the other domestic institutions in Barbados; that once you start to lose jobs and confidence it has a domino effect. That is why, with Four Seasons, with other projects, we’ve tried to step in wherever possible and, subject to the availability of resources, to protect jobs in this economy. I have not yet seen a statement, not even from the Government of Trinidad, that has given those assurances.

“I reject any assertion about the interference of the Minister of Finance in relation to this matter. The confidence of the system is built on the assurances and the word of the Government through the Ministry of Finance and nobody else…

“But there is no other country in the Caribbean in which the Opposition is as a irresponsible, as immature as the Opposition in Barbados jostling for attention … in fact, when you look across the world where economic collapse is taking place, I actually know of no other country in the world where people do not recognise the seriousness of the current financial challenges that we face and in which people are not seeking to bind together as one to solve those challenges.”

Source: barbadosadvocate.com

Mottley: Motion A Spur To Truth

Opposition Leader  Mia Mottley yesterday lambasted Prime Minister David Thompson for waiting until she had filed a no-confidence motion against him to start “telling Barbadians the truth”.

She told the Lower Chamber, while piloting debate on the motion, that the Prime Minister had only finally admitted the facts at his televised Press conference on Sunday – two days after she filed the motion – and it begged the question as to whether the Barbadian public would have ever been given details of [CLICO’s] $93 million Statutory Fund deficit and other details if the motion had not been filed.

She said day-to-day management was required from the Minister of Finance and not a flurry of activity in response to a no-confidence motion.

Noting that in the last 36 days other countries in the Caribbean had acted with alacrity to deal with the CLICO crisis, Mottley said Thompson had only started to act in recent days.

Deficit

“All of a sudden, in six days we hear what the Statutory Fund deficit is. We hear there may be a Barbadian entity willing to buy . . .

“We hear only this morning, on the morning of this motion, that the chairman of the Insurance Corporation of Barbados Ltd (ICBL) says the talks between ICBL and CLICO are only exploratory. . .

“All of a sudden this week he’s appearing busy only because of the filing of this motion,” said the Opposition Leader.

She added that Parliament was only addressing the issue yesterday for the first time since it broke on January 31, not because Government brought it there but because the Opposition did.

Adding that the Statutory Fund deficit was too serious a matter not to be addressed, she also asked why there was no word on British American Insurance, a subsidiary of CL Financial in Trinidad, since its policyholders were similarly affected.

“That matter is critical because last week news was given of a proposed lawsuit against British American Insurance for US$39 million that could cause that company to be totally insolvent in relation to 6 000 acres . . . bought by the CLICO financial group in Florida,” she revealed.

Imposing presence

Mottley added that once the news had broken of CL Financial’s woes in Trinidad and Tobago, Thompson had said CL Financial had an imposing presence in the region and there were only three things he was worried about: the excessive transactions in Trinidad which increased contagion of risks, aggressively high interest rates, and very high debt that constrained the company from being able to sell its assets.

Noting that these underscored a broader culture of indiscipline compounded by high living, Mottley said such behaviour was mimicked in Barbados and led to an increasingly high deficit in the Statutory Fund.

She also pointed out that while the deficit was high before December 2007, it could have been supported in the past by a powerful parent company, CL Financial, but that was not the case now.

“That’s why we called since February 8 for the Minister of Finance to come clean and state the Statutory Fund deficit,” she said, adding that between February 8 and 21 nothing was revealed by Thompson, so she decided to tell the country of the $93 million deficit.

“He called me dangerous and reckless and tried to impugn another insurance company. Only last Sunday night did he finally admit what the facts were,” she stated.

“When we take the comments of the chairman of ICBL, when we take what we saw in the paper today, nothing short of a parliamentary oversight committee of both [houses of] Parliament is sufficient because I am suspicious and I am doubtful,” Mottley said.

Source: nationnews.com

Barack Obama US Attorney General Is A Bajan

The first black man elected U.S. president is poised to name Washington lawyer Eric Holder as the nation’s first black attorney general — a historic appointment but one with some potential political problems over a 2001 pardon.

A source close to the selection process said Wednesday that President-elect Barack Obama has “informally”‘ offered the post to Holder, who has accepted. The person   

spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement has been made and because the process of vetting the nomination is still going on. Holder’s nomination is expected to be formally announced as soon as this week.

He has made no public comment on the nomination, though an Obama official and two Democrats in touch with Obama’s transition team on Tuesday confirmed that Holder is the top choice for attorney general.

Source: Miami Herald

Biography

Eric Holder [a former D.C. Superior Court judge, U.S. Attorney and Deputy Attorney General. Current senior legal advisor to President-elect Barack Obama, a position he held also in Obama’s campaign. One of three members of Obama’s vice-presidential selection committee]   as born in 1951 in the The Bronx, borough of New York City, to parents with roots in Barbados; Holder’s father, Eric Himpton Holder, Sr. (1905 – 1970) was born in St. Joseph, arrived in the United States at the age of eleven aboard the S.S. Stephen on February 24, 1916, and eventually served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. His mother, Miriam was born in New Jersey of Barbadian parents.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

Bolivian President Says He Won’t Let DEA Come Back

Bolivian President Evo Morales expressed hope Monday for improved relations with the United States under Barack Obama’s presidency but said he will never allow the US anti-drug agency to resume operating in his country.

The socialist leader, a close ally of Venezuelan Presiden Hugo Chavez, accused the Drug Enforcement Administration of “polotical aggression” in Bolivia, which is a major sourc of coca plants, the rwa ingredients for cocaine. Morales said his government would set up a new intelligence operation involving the military and police to fight drug trafficking in place of the DEA whose Bolivian operations he suspended November 1.

Morales, the former leader of a coca growers union, also said Bolivia will seek to remove coca leaf from the UN list of prohibited drugs. While coca can be

turned into cocaine, Boliians use the small green leaf in its less-potent natural form as a traditonal tea or for chewing. Bolivia-US relations have deteriorated in recent months as Morales’ government halted DEA activites and expelled US Ambassador Philip Goldberg, accusing him of spying and involvement in anti-government protests in the eastern lowlands.

 The US govrnment has denied helping Morales’ opponents and warns that ending the DEA operations will esult in even more cocaine being produced in Bilivia and shipped to the other countries. the State Department did not have any comment on Morales’ latest statement.

Repeating his allegations, Morales announced the ban on DEA operations when asked at a news conference whether he would agree to a return of the DEA after Obama takes office.

“The DEA will not return while I am still president,” Morales said. “The DEA … had an intelligence structure but it wasn’t so much to fight drugs, it has more to do with the political aggression against my government.  …. In recent times, we’ve seen officials of the DEA involved in political conspiracy.”

Noting that he was the first native Indian president of Bolivia and that Obama is the first black president of the United States, Morales said, “I feel tha the world has started to change.”

“My desire is to improve diplpmatic relations, trade relations, co-operation” with the United Statea, he said.

Morales held the news conference after speaking during a General Assembly debate on UN reforms and acheiving UN anti-proverty goals. He was the only head of state to address the session. All others speakers were ambassadors or lower-ranking diplomats.

Source: Barbados Advocate

Assassination Fears Of Obama Stop Bookies From Paying Out

Two of Australia’s largest bookmakers are refusing to pay out on bets that Barack Obama would win the U.S. presidential election, citing fears he could be assassinated before his inauguration, a report said Saturday.

The two bookmakers, Sportsbet and Centrebet, told the Sydney Morning Herald they would not pay out on the bets until the first African-American U.S. president takes office in January.

A spokesman for Centrebet told the paper it was a matter of policy.

The Herald said its story was prompted by a punter who said a senior official at Sportsbet had refused to pay out on a bet citing assassination fears.

Sportsbet chief executive Matt Tripp denied this was the company’s main concern.

“God forbid he has a stroke or gets hit by a bus,” Tripp told the paper. “I love the bloke. I want to pay out on him. I think he is good for America and good for the world.”

Bullet-proof screens were put up on stage when Obama made his victory speech to jubilant supporters in a Chicago park.

Two white supremacist skinheads were arrested in the U.S. state of Tennessee in October over plans shoot Obama, although the plot appeared unsophisticated.

Irish bookmaker Paddy Power was so sure of the election outcome that it paid out Obama-backers in October.

Other Australian bookmakers have paid out on Obama’s victory, the Herald said.

Source: Reuters Africa

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