Caribbean Heritage Festival Turns 4 – New Haven Independent

Rain and wind didnt stop the annual celebration of Caribbean heritage in New Haven.

For the fourth year, immigrants representing more than 25 island nations of the Caribbean gathered at DeGale Field in Goffe Street Park to celebrate their history and culture through music, dance, and food at their Caribbean American Heritage Festival.

It has been tremendous trying to put this together, Karaine Kay Smith-Holness said Sunday. And is officially National Carribean-American Heritage month. And four years ago we actually had a conversation with Mayor Harp and she said, why dont we do something about it. And this is what weve done.

The Caribbean nationals have been in New Haven since the 1600s and it started with St. Kitts and Nevis, Smith-Holness told attendees. And if you ever know anything about St. LukesSt. Lukes is the first Caribbean church here in New Haven. So what we are trying to do as an organization is to keep our culture alive while we are here in the City of New Haven.

Students from the Hamden Academy of Dance showed off their moves while the wind and rain whipped their costumes, and author Vangella Hazle Buchanan, a professor from Central Connecticut State University, read excerpts from her book.

Smith-Holness, already thinking about next June, told attendees to bring a friend, tell a friend and a friend and a friend.

For the fourth year, immigrants representing more than 25 island nations of the Caribbean gathered at DeGale Field in Goffe Street Park to celebrate their history and culture through music, dance, and food at their Caribbean Heritage Festival.

I wonder how many of these people in these pictures Identify with African-Caribbeans or British African-Caribbean people?

One of my favorite events! Kay and her crew pulled off this event with great success! Rain or shine! I love this Caribbean meet-up! They embrace their African roots, celebrate their British and Canadian roots and happily share it all with us New Haveners! When you attend the festival you see the celebration of the strong and proud diaspora connection of the islands. It is a beautiful thing to see! Everyone should come out and take in this rich celebration of culture and history!

What does the title Curries Goat Vanishes mean?

[Ed: That that delicacy sold out fast at the event.]

The curried goat would have disappeared even quicker if I was there, which I plan to be next year.

Well said, Babz Rawls Ivy.

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Caribbean Heritage Festival Turns 4 - New Haven Independent

Hartman Jerk Center hoping to be Caribbean culture hub – Wilkes Barre Times-Leader

WILKES-BARRE Hartman Jerk Center is about more than just food; its about culture. At least thats what one of the owners, Carleen Hartman, said.

Carleen, 44, of Wilkes-Barre, celebrated the grand opening of the restaurant on Saturday with her husband, Garfield, 52.

The couple both hale from Caribbean nations, with Carleen originally coming from Jamaica and Garfield from Guyana, and the restaurant serves, as Carleen says, anything Caribbean, ranging from things like curry goat, oxtail and, of course, jerk chicken.

We didnt have an authentic Caribbean place, Carleen said, explaining why they wanted to open the restaurant. We just wanted a place where we could meet and greet and talk with other people in the community.

The Hartmans say that the restaurant was busy in its first few hours of business. The Jerk Center, set up in a similar manner to other quick-service restaurants, where workers prepare your meal in front of you, had over 50 patrons in its first three hours. This rush caused the cooks to do two complete cookings of all food.

But, Carleen said, the amount of people caused a real sense of community to develop.

You get to meet so many people from your own country here, and some you didnt even know were from there, Carleen said. Its like, Oh, youre Jamaican too?

The Hartmans said that opening the restaurant had been a dream of theirs for a long time, with Garfield, the restaurants chef, especially looking forward to it. They previously sold their jerk chicken on Main Street, but they didnt have an established place for seating.

Now that they have that space, they are very glad to be in the community.

We are very, very happy to be in downtown Wilkes-Barre, Carleen said.

Members of the couples family came out in support, including Carleens brother, Ian Gayle, 44, of New York City.

We came here in support, Gayle said. The food was great, and now were just hanging out, enjoying Wilkes-Barre.

One patron, Supreme Bey, 42, of Scranton, had just finished a dinner of curry goat, saying that the food was delicious.

I had to come to support the community, Bey said.

A new restaurant on Main Street, Hartman Jerk Center, a Jamacian food establishment, held a grand opening on Saturday.

http://timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/web1_TTL040617Hartman-Jerk.jpgA new restaurant on Main Street, Hartman Jerk Center, a Jamacian food establishment, held a grand opening on Saturday. Aimee Dilger|Times Leader

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Hartman Jerk Center hoping to be Caribbean culture hub - Wilkes Barre Times-Leader

The Caribbean Cruise That Protects You From Overeating … – Bloomberg

The MSC Divina, cruise vessel.

In early May, Weight Watchers International Inc. is hosting a seven-night, wellness-themed Caribbean cruise aboard the 4,300-passenger MSC Divina, sailing from Miami.

Yeshang with us, herea company dedicated to weight loss is joining forces with a purveyor of expansive buffets to market cruising as a viable vacation for those aiming to shed pounds. And many, many people are battling bulges unsuccessfully, with more than a third of Americans medically obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As Weight Watchers transformsfrom a pure weight-loss enterpriseinto a health-and-wellness company, the idea of embarking on its first cruise was a logical thing to do, said Ryan Nathan, the companys vice president of products, licensing, and e-commerce.

We did a lot of research, and we looked at our member base, and our member really is the cruising base, Nathan said. The typical Weight Watchers member is female, from40 to 60 years old, with an average household income slightly above the U.S. average. The cruise is not slim-down camp, he said, and the company is setting no goals for members in terms of whether the trip is aimed at losing weight, maintaining weight, or keeping any gain from the cruise to a minimum.

Despite the abundance of food, drink, and sloth that mass-market cruise lines sell, a week in the Caribbean also offers the opportunity to take the opposite approach: Sleep well, exercise more, and peruse more menu options, with more relaxed lunches and dinners than most people faceat home. The ship also offers members an exercise bicycle that faces the sunrise anda jogging track on the open deck, said Rick Sasso, chairman of MSC North America.

Its a natural for us to go on this endeavor to show our members: Hey, you can have fun and eat great food, Nathan said. And you dont have to feel like diet is deprivation.

The company, ofwhich entertainer Oprah Winfrey owns nearly 15 percent, reformulated its business focus in late 2015 with a Beyond the Scale campaign that aims to help customers shift their mindset from weight loss to overall fitness, encouraging everything from becoming less sedentary to eating better. New York-based Weight Watchers said its members lost 15 percent more weight in the first two months following the new program, compared to results with the prior program.

Cruising is also an effective marketing tool for a publicly traded company that has repeatedly sought to reinvent itself amid the vicissitudes of both the equity and weight-loss markets.The new efforts to broaden Weight Watchers market appeal startedin late 2015, several months after the former talk show host acquired her stake and became a director, with plans to promote the company via her celebrity and her personal weight-loss efforts. Weight Watchers has credited Winfrey with helping spur new enrollments and stronger financial results; its stock has gained 39 percent this year.

Prices for the MSC cruise began at $945, and all of Weight Watchers 500-cabin bloc on the cruise has been sold, a spokeswoman for Weight Watchers said. MSC was stunned by how quickly half the Weight Watchers' block sold out, Sasso said. A second MSC-Weight Watchers cruise is planned for November, with additional sailings likely.

MSC is also offering menu options that will list Weight Watchers points values to help cruisers know whether their selections fit within their personal weight-control plans. Ive asked the entire organization here to embrace this, Sasso said in a telephone interview. Every aspectfrom our master chefs down to the waiters.

On board, Weight Watchers staff will host meetings for real-time guidance and support and present customized fitness programs, cooking demonstrations, and seminars from wellness experts. The week-long voyage will also have four ports of calls at whichpassengers can hike, snorkel, dive, and pursue other physical activities, Sasso said. The May Divina itinerary willstop in Jamaica; Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; and the Bahamas.

I think this is more a perfect scenario than the other type of vacation that one can take, Sasso said, calling the cruise a controlled environment for Weight Watchers members. Were making our cruise products already have this wellness aspect. The May wellness-themed cruise, he said, is just an enhancement.

For Geneva-based MSC, and for suchlarger U.S. peers as Carnival Corp., Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., and Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., shifting the publics notion of cruising as an oceangoing gallery of gluttony to one of an upscale holiday that embraces fine dining and active lifestyles is critical to attracting a younger, more affluent demographic.The cruise industry of the 1980s, for example, is nothing like today's cruise lines offerings. The industry has been working feverishly to tout that message and to increase its customer base, with an estimated 25.3 million people expected to cruise this year, up from 15.8 million a decade ago.

Cruise ships also offer no more dietary vice than the average U.S. city, given anabundance of food and drink choices that are far from healthy, Sasso argued. That temptation is everywhere you go, he said. Unless you go to an isolated place in the jungle, youre going to have temptation everywhere.

The newer ships also devote increasing real estate to their spasa revenue source, to be sureand most have extensive gyms stocked with equipment, Sasso noted. When you have 20,000-square-foot spas on a cruise ship, that is unparalleled in the hotel industry, unless youre in some huge resort.

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For cruise lines, affinity groups of the wellness sort that Weight Watchers is heading also tend to mean higher revenues, and margins. The $945 minimum fare on MSC, for example, is higher than the company would otherwise command for many of its berths for the same week. Thats one reason for the proliferation of theme cruises, from Star Trek to country western music to a Holland America Line Alaska cruise focused on O, The Oprah Magazine, Winfreys monthly lifestyle periodical.

If a weight-control or sci-fi cruise seems extraordinarily niche-y, they get even more specialized. In November, starting at 799 ($852) per person, you can join TV actor David Hasselhoff in the Mediterranean for a five-day Official World Fan Cruise.

Not only will we be at sea, which is really sexy, were going to be rocking and rolling, Hasselhoff says in a videopitch for the cruise.

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The Caribbean Cruise That Protects You From Overeating ... - Bloomberg

Billie Lourd and Taylor Lautner Show PDA on Caribbean Vacation … – E! Online


PDA alert!

Billie Lourdand boyfriendTaylor Lautner were recently spottedfrolicking and kissingin the ocean during a vacation to St. Barts.

The twohad earlier this week began a family tripwith Billie's dad Bryan Lourd, who was married to her late motherCarrie Fisher for three years in the '90s,and his husbandBruce Bozzi, whoposted a photo of the group and another man on a boat, wearing green face masks.

"The family that masks together lasts together!" he wrote.


Billie and Taylor, who play love interests on Scream Queens, first sparked real-love romance rumors in early December after co-starKeke Palmer posted a photo of the two making out on Snapchat. They have never commented on their relationship.

Taylor has been there for Billieas she deals withthe deaths of her mother and grandmother,actressDebbie Reynolds. The two passed away within days of each other in December.

The two visited theAntelope Valley California Poppy Reserve togetherlate last month. In February, they celebrated Taylor's 25th birthday, wearing matching onesies.

"Happy birfday to my #numberonesie," Billiewrote.

E! Online - Your source for entertainment news, celebrities, celeb news, and celebrity gossip. Check out the hottest fashion, photos, movies and TV shows!

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Billie Lourd and Taylor Lautner Show PDA on Caribbean Vacation ... - E! Online

Marquette woman wins Caribbean vacation – UpperMichigansSource.com

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - One U.P. woman won a free trip to the Caribbean Wednesday morning from the Live with Kelly show.

Winner Teresa Parnell, a hair stylist at Reflections Hair Salon, enters the morning shows trivia contest every day. The way the contest works is that the shows hosts spin a wheel that lands on a specific location. They then call one of their viewers and ask them a trivia question. Its usually about something occurring on the previous days show.

If the viewer gets the question correct, they win an all-expense paid vacation.

Parnell correctly answered the question Wednesday morning, and won a trip for two to Barbados.

I had to like calm myself down. My heart - my heart's still pumping. I just, I'm flying high today, Parnell said. Yes, I am very lucky, but I also enter every single day. You have to - persistence, persistence, persistence - it paid off this time."

Parnell said both her and her sister enter the contest every, single day. Their agreement, if one of them wins the vacation, is theyll take the other with them. The two will take their Caribbean vacation next February.

For the latest News, Weather and Sports, tune into your TV6 News and FOX UP News.

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Marquette woman wins Caribbean vacation - UpperMichigansSource.com

Key to Improving Infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean, Spending Better – Kansas City infoZine

Key to Improving Infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean, Spending Better

Rather than focusing on often poorly defined financing gaps, the report advocates for addressing service gaps, according to countries development priorities. This means putting in place efficient ways of addressing these needs, and developing clear rules for deciding when taxpayers should finance services, instead of users.

Spending more efficiently could have enormous benefits. In the case of the energy sector, where transmission and distribution losses are high, LAC would need $23 billion per year if it were to follow the same investment path of the past. Costs would at least halve under an approach that favors efficiency, climate resiliency and renewable energy solutions.

According to the report, many of the causes for inefficient infrastructure investment have roots beyond the sector, including lack of institutional capacity for planning, regulatory uncertainty, and budgeting and implementation issues in many countries. Inefficient procurement processes, for instance, contribute to excess costs.

Adequate pricing for infrastructure services is another important potential area for increased efficiency. The report argues that pricing should go beyond simple cost recovery and take into account issues like social acceptability, quality, equity and attraction of commercial financing. In order to preserve tax-payers money, the report says that public and concessional resources should only be deployed where commercial financing is not viable or cost-effective.

Finally, the report concludes that allowing infrastructure operators to diversify their revenue can contribute to easing the fiscal cost. Water treatment plants, for instance, can generate electricity for self-consumption and even sale, and sanitized sludge can be sold as fertilizer, instead of having to be disposed at high cost in sanitary landfills, options not currently available.

Related World Bank Links Rethinking Infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean Spending Better to Achieve More World Bank in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Key to Improving Infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean, Spending Better - Kansas City infoZine

Oil Traders Drain Hidden Caribbean Hoards as OPEC Cuts Bite – Bloomberg

During the oil price rout, islands in the Caribbeanwere exhibit A for the longest-lasting glut in three decades,with millions of barrels stored there. Now, that oil is flowing again, a signthe market is rebalancing.

Since mid-February, between 10 million and 20 million barrels have left the Caribbean, according to estimates from traders who asked not to be named because their data is proprietary. The draw, hardly noticed by most in the market,reflects the impact of the output cuts orchestrated by OPEC and Russia.

Low taxes and the Caribbeans proximity to U.S. and Latin America oil centers have made it into one of the worlds largest oil storage centers, holding as much as 140 million barrels. While a lack of official data can make the area invisible to some, the information is key in framing a full picture of global supply and demand at a time of market uncertainty.

"Caribbean and other storage has drawn down rapidly over the past weeks," said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd., in a note to clients. "The first indications that the rebalancing has begun are here."

On Sunday,Mohammad Barkindo, OPECs Secretary-General, said he remained "cautiously optimistic the gap between supply and demand was starting to tighten. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the 11 countries that agreed to trim production in the first half of the year are now weighing whether to extend the cutbacks to the end of 2017.

West Texas Intermediate oil fell 0.7 percent to $50.24 a barrel in New York on Monday. Oil prices have fallen about 10 percent this year as crude stockpiles in the U.S. have since December grown by almost 55 million barrels to 534 million barrels, the highest since 1929.

Grand Bahama, Aruba, Bonaire, Curaao, St. Eustatius and St. Lucia, mostly known for the beaches that draw sun-chasing visitors from around the world, all have significant depots to store crude and refined products.

Chinese oil companies, which lease millions of barrels of storage in the southern Caribbean sea, are leading the stock-draw from those islands, the traders said. PetroChina Co. used the super-tanker Nectar last month to remove stored crude from Aruba and Curaao, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. It also loaded the Maxim, another very-large crude carrier (VLCC), with crude from storage in the Caribbean Sea.

Indian oil refiners are also taking crude out. In a rare shipment, Reliance Industries Ltd. receivedEcuadorian crude stored in the island of Grand Bahama in theDHT Condor super-tanker. More recently, another giant tanker, the Amphitrite, took Venezuelan crude from a terminal in St. Eustatius, also for Reliance.

"Globally, crude stocks are coming down," said Mike Loya, the Houston-based top executive at Vitol Group BV, the worlds largest independent oil trader.

The Caribbean outflows also reflect a change in the relationship between spot and forward oil prices. For much of 2015 and 2016, the shape of the oil curve showed spot prices below forward prices. In a contango market, traders can buy barrels, place them on storage and lock in a profit by selling them forward in the futures market.

The price difference between Brent crude oil for immediate delivery and the one-year forward, a key contango yardstick, reached more than $11 a barrel in January 2015. But after OPEC and Russia announced their output cuts in late last year, the contango has all but dissipated, with the one-year Brent price spread at just about 80 cents a barrel on Monday.

"Less visible inventories have been drawing," Martijn Rats, oil analyst at Morgan Stanley in London, said in a note to clients.

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Oil Traders Drain Hidden Caribbean Hoards as OPEC Cuts Bite - Bloomberg

Theme stream in Caribbean for Flow – Rapid TV News

Cable & Wirelesss Flow TV customers across the Caribbean will now be able to access a Caribbean-themed content library on demand.

Through a partnership with CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution (CTWD), Flow TV will enable customers to access a variety of Caribbean films from an extensive library available on Flows video-on-demand (VOD) service in eight markets.

This is certainly a historic moment for Flow and our partners CaribbeanTales, as together we will deliver high quality, relevant Caribbean content that gives our audience a refreshing perspective on Caribbean life, said John Reid, CEO of Cable & Wireless, Flows operator.

In 2013, CTWD launched its own VOD platform, CaribbeanTales-TV, with ongoing global streaming of its catalogue. Now, with Flows extensive VOD reach across the region, this partnership makes the catalogue more widely accessible to Caribbean audiences.

We are delighted to extend our relationship with Flow to a wide regional audience who will now enjoy the best films from the greatest filmmakers across the Caribbean, added Frances-Anne Solomon, CEO and founder of Caribbean Tales.

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Theme stream in Caribbean for Flow - Rapid TV News

Loran Smith: Trip to Caribbean a feast for senses – Online Athens

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO | There are more than 700 islands in the Caribbean, which has for decades thrived as a playground for people from all over the world. Wherever you stop, youre confronted with an atmosphere which is conducive to maana. For many throughout the Caribbean, every day is a day of rest.

A laptop and an iPhone keep you in touch with whomever and whatever you want, but there are many alluring options to dominate your mood and overwhelm your emotions. An early riser sleeps later in the Caribbean even when on work assignment. A fruit breakfast to start your day, a lunch by the sea, which roars ashore with continual and relentless intensity, and a dinner in a similar environment makes one want to extend the stay.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory that came to us by way of the 1898 Spanish-American War. You remember Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders? The battle of San Juan Hill? The United States came out of that long-ago conflict with considerable real estate, including the island of Puerto Rico. Although the island is a tax haven for many, Puerto Rico itself is essentially bankrupt.

While soccer is big in Puerto Rico, it was also the birthplace of one of the greatest baseball players of all time, Roberto Clemente. It was home for golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez until lately. For health and financial reasons, Chi Chi now lives in south Florida. Lest we forget, one of Puerto Ricos most accomplished sons is Manuel Diaz, the Hall of Fame tennis coach at the University of Georgia.

An invitation from Jay and Clare Walker led to a brief respite here, which was enhanced by sun, captivating views, breezes, moon-splashed outdoor dining and the ever-present waves of the Caribbean ringing in your ear which led to reminiscing about other years and other places like St. Croix, St. Thomas, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica.

Mealtimes can be an adventure, and every hour can be social hour when you come to the islands. I met a couple of new drinks that I really liked Lynchburg Lemonade and Coconut Sunset. The basic ingredients of the first are Jack Daniels, Cointreau and lemon. Try it, you will like it. The Coconut Sunset becomes addictive created with Bacardi rum, coconut, guava, a splash of ginger ale and mint.

Its best to enjoy such drinks with the Caribbean in view, rambunctious seas thundering, blue skies, waving palms, and mynah birds tweeting staccato, squawking sounds as they forage for crumbs.

The sun is always kissing bikini-clad bodies at the Caribbean beaches some fit for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition and some needing to be reminded that the calendar has taken its toll.

Traditional Caribbean music still falls pleasantly on the ear. Especially old-time reggae if you stop in Jamaica, along with calypso and traditional folk songs. On an earlier trip to the Caribbean this year, I was having lunch one day at a snack bar in the Dominican Republic, which softly featured the aforementioned music on the house system when a favorite folk tune sounded forth.

It carries the title, Shame and Scandal in the Familee.

Seems that this young boy from the islands became enraptured with a certain young girl and decided to marry her. He went to see his father and told him about his plan. He then told the father the name of his bride-to-be. To his amazement, his father was aghast, saying, Oh no, that girl is your sister, but your mama dont know.

Dejected, the boy decided he would not go against his fathers wishes and broke up with the girl he had selected to be his mate. Soon he found another girl and thought she would be the right one for him. Again, he disclosed his plans to his father, who came with the same refrain, Oh no, that girl is your sister but your mama dont know.

With the passing of time there was a third girl in whom the boy developed a serious interest. The same scenario surfaced once again with the father espousing the redundant disclaimer: Oh no, that girl is your sister, but your mama dont know.

In exasperation, the boy sought out his mother and told her what was going on. His mother laughed and told him to marry any girl he wanted, explaining that, Your daddy aint your daddy, but your daddy dont know.

Loran Smith is a contributing columnist to the Athens Banner-Herald.

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Loran Smith: Trip to Caribbean a feast for senses - Online Athens

The Caribbean can always count on Cuba – Jamaica Observer

This past week, Cuba was once again the capital of the Caribbean, serving as venue to different regional meetings aiming to dialogue about key issues for our region like tourism, commerce, transportation, sustainable development, the environment and climate change.

The First Cooperation Conference of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), held in Havana, last 8th March, focused on two important areas: the fight against climate change, and the connection by sea. Representatives from ACS member states as well as United Nations funds and programmes were in attendance. The strengthening of the concertation and cooperation capacity will favour ACS member states and associates to be in better conditions to face the issues and problems affecting the region.

As stated by Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment of Cuba Ileana Nez Mordoche, who visited Jamaica last May, 2016, the conference represented an opportunity to assess capacities, join forces, and integrate in order to achieve sustainable development in all Caribbean countries.

The capital of Cuba also hosted the XXII Ordinary Meeting of ACS Council of Ministers from 9th-10 March, chaired by ACS Secretary General June Soomer, and President of the Republic of Cuba, Raul Castro Ruz. Representatives from ACS members states participated. The Jamaican delegation was presided over by the Honourable Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte.

To discuss our common interests and the risks that Caribbean nations share was the main goal of the meeting. ACS member states were able to review the implementation of the agreements adopted at the Seventh Summit of the Association held in Havana on June 4, 2016, during which the Heads of State and Government, driven by their commitment with ACS and determined to strengthen its role as a platform for political dialogue, coordination and cooperation, approved the Havana Declaration and Plan of action.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla stated that in the face of the walls intended to be built, our choice should continue to be unity, solidarity and complementarity to defend the most legitimate interests of our peoples. Given the current scenario, we could only achieve that if we coordinate and concert our actions in an effective way around the consensus attained in those areas at the Seventh Summit. In this regard, we should enhance the possibilities of our Association to come up with a joint response.


During the V Ministerial Meeting Caricom-Cuba, on 11th March, Cuba ratified the permanent compromise to maintain the traditional cooperation with the countries of this regional organisation in key areas like health, education, construction and response to natural disasters.

The meeting also served as an opportunity to convey our profound appreciation for the support of the Caribbean nations to our people and Government, especialy, in the fight against the economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed by the United States.

The ties between Cuba and the nations of the Caribbean are strongly based on solidarity and marked by a high political level. Cuba continues to feel proud of the excellent relations it maintains with every country of the Caribbean, and it shall continue working side by side with ACS and Caricom member states toward the strengthening of the diplomatic and economic relations. Likewise, it reiterates the willingness to continue and strengthen cooperation with ACS and Caricom in areas like health, education, sports, etc.

As stated by Chancellor Rodriguez Parrilla: The Caribbean can always count on Cuba. Our country will continue defending, at regional and international fora, the legitimate interest of the Caribbean nations, who deserve the gratitude of our people and Government for the permanent solidary and brave support.

Bernardo Guanche Hernandez is Cubas Ambassador to Jamaica, based in Kingston

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The Caribbean can always count on Cuba - Jamaica Observer

This Epic Trip Introduces Golfers to 10 Courses in South America and the Caribbean – Robb Report

Robb Report
This Epic Trip Introduces Golfers to 10 Courses in South America and the Caribbean
Robb Report
The trip kicks off in Florida, where guests spend the night at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort before boarding a Boeing 757 bound for the Caribbean. With room for only 52 guests, the trip promises to be an exclusive ...

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This Epic Trip Introduces Golfers to 10 Courses in South America and the Caribbean - Robb Report

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: March 12, 2017 – Royal Caribbean Blog (blog)

Royal Caribbean Blog (blog)
Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: March 12, 2017
Royal Caribbean Blog (blog)
Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: March 12, 2017. In: Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up. 12Mar2017. Happy Daylight Savings Time! No one enjoys losing an hour of sleep, so we will make you feel better with a round-up of all of this week's Royal Caribbean ...
Terrifying moment a cruise ship carrying thousands of holidaymakers is hit by 30ft waves on its way to FloridaDaily Mail
WATCH: Horrifying footage shows moment cruise ship is BATTERED by 30ft wavesExpress.co.uk
Terrifying Footage Shows Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Submerged In High WavesCruise Hive
Transcript Daily -MENAFN.COM -Markets Daily
all 17 news articles »

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Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: March 12, 2017 - Royal Caribbean Blog (blog)

5 Luxe Resorts in the Caribbean to Visit Now – Caribbean Journal

Luxury in the Caribbean can mean many things, but the most luxurious resorts in the Caribbean always offer an experience focused on comfort and indulgence. But some reach an even higher level of luxury.

So why not make your next trip to the Caribbean to a five-star, opulent, grand resort?

Yes, its time to pamper yourself. Time to find a hotel in the Caribbean where the luxury overflows, where the service overwhelms.

Its time to find the perfect luxe Caribbean resort for the getaway you deserve. Here are five options to think about right now.

Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve

When it debuted in 2013, Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve wasnt just a new kind of Ritz-Carlton it took Puerto Rico to another level. The jaw-dropping resort on the north coast has wonderful beachside rooms, a lovely flagship restaurant by celebrity chef Jose Andres and an ambience that lives up to its heritage as a former Laurance Rockefeller estate. Click to book a stay at Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve.

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5 Luxe Resorts in the Caribbean to Visit Now - Caribbean Journal

Legoland Builds In Shanghai, Royal Caribbean Steers Clear Of Korea – Seeking Alpha

Bottom line: Legoland's new Shanghai theme park spotlights the growing lure of China's leisure travel market, while Royal Caribbean's removal of South Korean ports from its China-based trips spotlights how political tensions can affect tourism-reliant businesses.

A couple of Shanghai-based leisure stories are spotlighting two very different trends in China's leisure travel sector, where a burgeoning middle-class is seeking new and interesting vacation ideas. On the more upbeat side, one of Europe's top theme park developers is expressing a major vote of confidence in the market, with word that the developer of Legoland theme parks will open one of its mega-resorts in Shanghai. But on the downside, the country's largest cruise operator, Royal Caribbean (NYSE: RCL), has removed South Korean ports from its China-based trips amid growing frictions between Beijing and Seoul over a controversial missile defense system.

The Legoland deal spotlights the big upside to China's leisure travel market, which has attracted most of the world's major theme park operators including Disney (NYSE: DIS), Universal Studios and Six Flags (NYSE: SIX). The latter story spotlights one of the biggest downside risks to doing business in China, namely the potential for politics to become entangled in business.

Let's jump right in with Legoland news, which is quite big in terms of investment and the arrival of another major player to the market. The latest reports say that Britain's Merlin Entertainment, developer of Legoland theme parks, will build a $300 million resort in Shanghai's Qingpu district.

Here we need to distinguish between the various formats that Legoland takes. Merlin has already opened a much smaller-scale rendition of its Legoland Discovery Center in Shanghai, probably costing in the tens of millions of dollars. But this particular new project involving a full-scale outdoor Legoland involves the company's premier product, and the size of the investment attests to the big potential Merlin sees in the market.

The reports say the resort will be completed in 2022, and will complement similar parks under construction in Japan and South Korea. it's significant the park is being built in Shanghai, which is fast becoming China's theme park capital for this kind of world-class entertainment. Disney last year opened its first mainland-based resort in the city, and Six Flags is building one of its resorts nearby. By comparison, only Universal has chosen Beijing, whose weather and nearby population base are less ideal for this kind of major outdoor attraction.

Cruising Cuts

Meantime, there's the other news that Royal Caribbean has removed all South Korean ports of call from its cruises originating in China, many of those from Shanghai. The move was announced in low-key fashion on the company's China website, citing "recent developments regarding the situation in South Korea".

That's a slightly subtle reference to the current political tensions occurring between Seoul and Beijing over a high-tech anti-missile defense system the former is installing. Seoul says the system is necessary to protect against potential threats from North Korea, while Beijing worries the system could be used for spying on China.

In this case the biggest losers will be the South Korean ports that are usually included on such cruises, such as the island of Jeju that has become heavily dependent on Chinese tourism. South Korean retailer Lotte has also seen its China operations suffer as a result of the tensions, with a number of its retail stores and one of its joint venture factories recently forced to close after local inspectors discovered various violations.

This kind of fallout for businesses as a result of political tensions is one of the biggest risks for companies doing business in China, or in this case overseas firms that rely on Chinese tourists. Beijing is notorious for parlaying political tensions into the business realm, allowing state-controlled media to report extensively on the matters and fuel discontent among ordinary citizens.

In this case government is keeping a close watch on things, and appears to be making sure that the public outrage doesn't get out of hand the way it has in the past with other similar tensions. Still, that won't be much consolation for the people at Lotte or hundreds of small businesses in South Korea that have come to depend on Chinese tourists.

Disclosure: None


Legoland Builds In Shanghai, Royal Caribbean Steers Clear Of Korea - Seeking Alpha

The International Teaser for ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5’ – ScreenCrush – ScreenCrush

For many movie fans, international trailers are an afterthought, an attempt to repackage previously released footage for a new market. But given the popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies abroad, its probably safe to say that Disney takes its international footage pretty seriously. After all, the previous film in the franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, grossed a total of $240 million domestically and $804 million internationally. Put another way: the film failed to make back its budget ($250 million) in the United States but tripled it abroad.

So while the new trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (via Heroic Hollywood) may not have a lot of new footage it does highlight some of the major points from the other teasers ghost pirates! an uncomfortably computer generated Johnny Depp! while also finding time to show Jack Sparrow without his trousers up. If anything, the trailer serves as a reminder that the Pirates of the Caribbean movies are never quite as serious as the trailers make them out to be.

As long as these movies keep making money around the world, Disney will keep finding reasons to throw Jack Sparrow back in harms way. And while there are undoubtedly some who wonder why we need a fifth Pirates of the Caribbean film, Im willing to meet the studio halfway with one very specific request. If Disney decides to focus less on Johnny Depps character and more on the Bond villain-esque performances of actors like Geoffrey Rush, Bill Nighy, and Javier Bardem, then I think I could be convinced to stick around for a couple more films. We may not need more Jack Sparrow films, but more movies about evil swarthy ghost pirates? Im listening.

Heres the full plot synopsis for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales:

The rip-roaring adventure finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devils Triangle bent on killing every pirate at seanotably Jack. Jacks only hope of survival lies in the legendary Trident of Poseidon, but to find it he must forge an uneasy alliance with Carina Smyth, a brilliant and beautiful astronomer, and Henry, a headstrong young sailor in the Royal Navy. At the helm of the Dying Gull, his pitifully small and shabby ship, Captain Jack seeks not only to reverse his recent spate of ill fortune, but to save his very life from the most formidable and malicious foe he has ever faced.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will bring back Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, and Orlando Bloom in addition to newcomers Javier Bardem, Kaya Scodelario, and Brenton Thwaites. It will sail into theaters on May 26, 2017.

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The International Teaser for 'Pirates of the Caribbean 5' - ScreenCrush - ScreenCrush

Caribbean Nations Huddle in Havana on Migration, Trade – Voice of America


Foreign ministers and other officials from 25 Caribbean countries met in Havana on Friday to discuss a joint response in the face of Trump administration threats to migrants and trade.

Opening remarks at the closed-door event, attended by representatives from Colombia, Mexico, Cuba and other countries in Central America and the Caribbean islands, made clear the new U.S. administration and key economic partner was uppermost on the agenda, though the name "Trump" was never uttered.

Foreign ministers pose for the official photo after the opening ceremony of the XXII Ordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of the the Association of Caribbean States at the Havana Libre Hotel in Havana, Cuba, March 10, 2017.

"We are meeting at an exceptional historic moment when there are geographic changes on the global scene and we have to be prepared," said June Soomer, from Saint Lucia and secretary general of the Association of Caribbean States.

"We are not going to resign ourselves to what others in the world dictate. We are not a mediocre region, we are one of excellence and peace," Sooner added.

Cuban President Raul Castro also attended the meeting.

His foreign minister, Bruno Rodriguez, lit into U.S. President Donald Trump's policies in his opening remarks and said the organization should come up with a joint response, as they threaten the development models of local economies.

"The excluding and repressive migration policies announced by countries of destination... as well as the implementation of extremely protectionist trade measures, are real challenges for our sub region," he said.

"In the face of the walls intended to be built, our choice should continue to be unity, solidarity and cooperation to defend the most legitimate interests of our peoples," he said.

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Caribbean Nations Huddle in Havana on Migration, Trade - Voice of America

Watch: Jack Sparrow Returns in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5’ Trailer – Breitbart News


The films synopsis, courtesy of Disney:


Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devils Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea including him. Captain Jacks only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.

In addition to Depp, Pirates 5 stars Javier Bardem as the villainous Captain Salazar, Geoffrey Rush as Barbossa, Brenton Thwaites, Stephen Graham and Orlando Bloom returning as Will Turner in his first appearance in the franchise since 2007s At Worlds End.

Dead Men Tell No Tales is directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki, Bandidas) off of a script from Jeff Nathanson (Tower Heist, The Terminal).

The film hits theaters May 26. Watch the first full trailer above.

Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum

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Watch: Jack Sparrow Returns in 'Pirates of the Caribbean 5' Trailer - Breitbart News

SPARKS Plugs Gap in Caribbean Climate Research – Inter Press Service

Caribbean Climate Wire, Climate Change, Environment, Featured, Headlines, Latin America & the Caribbean, Projects

Big data is used by scientists in the Caribbean to forecast drought conditions for farmers and other farming interests. Credit: Zadie Neufville/IPS

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mar 11 2017 (IPS) - On Nov. 30 last year, a new high-performance Super Computer was installed at the University of the West Indies (UWI) during climate change week. Dubbed SPARKS short for the Scientific Platform for Applied Research and Knowledge Sharing the computer is already churning out the big data Caribbean small island states (SIDS) need to accurately forecast and mitigate the effects of climate change on the region.

Experts are preparing the Caribbean to mitigate the devastating impacts rising seas, longer dry spells, more extreme rainfall and potentially higher impact tropical cyclones associated with climate change. The impacts are expected to decimate the economies of the developing states and many small island states, reversing progress and exacerbating poverty. Observers say the signs are already here.

The system will help scientists to "better evaluate potential risk and impacts and effectively mitigate those risks as we build more resilient infrastructure." --UWI Professor Archibald Gordon

Before SPARKS, regional scientists struggled to produce the kinds of credible data needed for long-term climate projections. Only a few months ago, UWIs lack of data processing capacity restricted researchers to a single data run at a time, said Jay Campbell, research fellow at the climate research group . Each data run would take up to six months due to the limited storage capacity and lack of redundancy, he said noting: If anything went wrong, we simply had to start over.

Immediately, SPARKS answered the need for the collection, analysis, modelling, storage, access and dissemination of climate information in the Caribbean. Over the long term, climate researchers will be able to produce even more accurate and reliable climate projections at higher spatial resolutions to facilitate among other things, the piloting and scaling up of innovative climate resilient initiatives.

So, when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) produces its next global assessment report in 2018, there will be much more information from the Caribbean, making SPARKS a critical tool in the regions fight against climate change.

Not only has the new computer described as one of the fastest in the Caribbean boosted the regions climate research capabilities by plugging the gaping hole in regional climate research, UWI Monas principal Professor Archibald Gordon said, It should help regional leaders make better decisions in their responses and adaptation strategies to mitigate the impact of climate change.

The experts underscore the need for big data to provide the information they need to improve climate forecasting in the short, medium and long term. Now, they have the capacity and the ability to complete data runs that usually take six months, in just over two days.

The system will help scientists to better evaluate potential risk and impacts and effectively mitigate those risks as we build more resilient infrastructure, Gordon said.

As the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) reported in June 2016 as the 14th consecutive month of record heat for land and oceans; and the 378th consecutive month with temperatures above the 20th century average, regional scientists have committed to proving information to guide Caribbean governments on the actions they need to lessen the impact of climate change.

The region has consistently sought to build its capacity to provide accurate and consistent climate data. Efforts were ramped up after a September 2013 rapid climate analysis in the Eastern Caribbean identified what was described as a number of climate change vulnerabilities and constraints to effective adaptation.

The USAID study identified among other things the lack of accurate and consistent climate data to understand climate changes, predict impacts and plan adaptation measures. To address the challenges, the WMO and the Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH), with funding from USAID, established the Regional Climate Centre in Barbados.

The launch of the new computer is yet another step in overcoming the constraints. It took place during a meeting of the IPCC at UWIs regional headquarters at Mona significant because it signalled to the international grouping that the Caribbean was now ready and able to produce the big data needed for the upcoming 2018 report.

Head of the Caribbean Climate Group Professor Michael Taylor explained in an interview that the credibility and accuracy of climate data require fast computer processing speeds, fast turn-around times as well as the ability to run multiple data sets at higher resolution to produce information that regional decision-makers need.

Climate research and downscaling methods will no longer be limited to the hardware and software, he said, trying but failing to contain his excitement.

SPARKS also puts Jamaica and the UWI way ahead of their counterparts in the English-speaking Caribbean and on par with some of the leading institutions in the developed world. This improvement in computing capacity is an asset for attracting more high-level staff and attracting students from outside the region. Crucially, it aids the universitys push to establish itself as a leading research-based institution and a world leader in medicinal marijuana research.

This opens up the research capability, an area the university has not done in the past. Before now, the processing of big data could only be done with partners overseas, Professor Taylor said.

Aside from its importance to crunching climate data for the IPCC reports, SPARKS is revolutionising DNA sequencing, medicinal, biological and other data driven research being undertaken at the University. More importantly, UWI researchers agree that a supercomputer is bringing together the agencies at the forefront of the regional climate fight.

What is clear, SPARKS is a game-changer and a big deal for climate research at the regional level and for UWIs research community.

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SPARKS Plugs Gap in Caribbean Climate Research - Inter Press Service