News Scan for Dec 30, 2014

first_imgChikungunya cases jump by 25,000; Colombia hit hardTotal suspected and confirmed cases of chikungunya in the Caribbean and the Americas increased by 25,639 over the past 10 days, with most of the new cases in Colombia, according to an update yesterday from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).The overall total for suspected and confirmed cases stands at 1,097,003 as of Dec 29. Colombia saw the largest increase, with 21,365 new cases, for a total of 74,566. The next-highest increase was in Honduras, with 2,691 new suspected cases (no new confirmed ones) for a total of 24,110. Puerto Rico saw an increase of 2,093, with its total rising to 28,274 suspected and confirmed cases.Nearly all new cases, as well as the large majority of cases overall, have been locally acquired. Nicaragua and Peru each reported four new imported cases as of Dec 29, and the US Virgin Islands reported two. No further imported cases occurred in the United States, which has seen the most such cases by far during the outbreak, with 2,021 of the overall total of 2,511.Dec 29 PAHO update Dec 22 CIDRAP News scan on chikungunya MERS-CoV infects Saudi manSaudi Arabia’s MOH today reported another MERS-CoV infection, involving an 84-year-old man from Narjan, located in the southern part of the country.The man is hospitalized in critical condition and has underlying health problems. An investigation revealed he had been exposed to animals before he started having symptoms.His illness boosts Saudi Arabia’s number of MERS-CoV (Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus) cases to 825, of which 355 have been fatal.Dec 30 MOH statementlast_img read more

Read more

CARICOM STATEMENT ON REVISED EU BLACKLIST OF MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY

first_img You may be interested in… This renewed attack on our Member States’ economic prospects constitutes an infringement of our sovereign right of self-determination in the best interests of the CARICOM people.  Moreover, we are concerned that the EU’s ‘tax good governance strategy’ is beginning to border on anti-competitive behavior targeted at the decimation of the international business/financial services sector in the Caribbean. The EU Council has stated that Barbados “has replaced a harmful preferential tax regime by a measure of similar effect and did not commit to amend or abolish it by the end of 2019’.”   However, Barbados undertook a review of its corporate tax regime in 2018 and decided to pursue tax convergence which removed the alleged ‘preference’ accorded the international business sector.  Barbados now applies a tax rate of 1% to 5.5% on the taxable income of all corporations registered in that jurisdiction. This policy has been sanctioned by the OECD, as the recognized global authority on tax governance, which has reiterated that a low tax rate does not, in itself, constitute a harmful tax regime.  Moreover, Barbados requested clarification on the areas of divergence in the requirements for a ‘low tax jurisdiction’ as established by the OECD Forum on Harmful Tax Practices (FHTP) and the EU’s ‘fair taxation criterion’.  However, the EU only responded to Barbados’ request on the day after the issuance of the revised blacklist. The case of Belize and Bermuda represents a clear departure from the practice of placing jurisdictions on the grey list (Annex II) for purposes of monitoring once they have given high level commitments to address alleged ‘deficiencies’. The EU Council has asserted that Belize “has not yet amended or abolished one harmful preferential tax regime” notwithstanding the legislative, administrative and tax reforms undertaken by 31 December 2018 which were sanctioned by the OECD.  The EU has also asserted that Belize has introduced a ‘new and preferential tax measure’ in its 2018 tax reforms. However, Belize contends that the referenced tax rates of 1.75% to 3.35% on taxable income of International Business Companies and entities operating in Belize’s Designated Processing Areas are consistent with Belize’s historical income and business tax regime.  Nonetheless, Belize acquiesced and provided, as demanded by the EU, an undertaking to amend this so-called ‘new preferential tax measure’ by 31 December 2019. Despite Belize’s commitment to amend or abolish the “newly identified harmful preferential tax regime by the end of 2019,” which the EU stated it will monitor, as well as an additional high-level political and time-bound commitment to address any other concerns of the EU, Belize was included on the 12 March blacklist. Bermuda’s inclusion on this list is as a result of an omission which was remedied after the revised commitment date. The case of Dominica highlights the insensitivity of the EU Council to a country that was devastated by two natural disasters in 2015 and 2017 and lost its largest investor. Yet despite this, the country completed all the required legislative and administrative reforms to which the government had committed in mid-2018 to undertake.  Notwithstanding, Dominica has been included in the revised blacklist because the jurisdiction “does not apply any automatic exchange of financial information, has not signed and ratified the OECD Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance as amended, and has not yet resolved these issues.” However, the signature of the Multilateral Convention is dependent on the sanctioning of the request for admittance and a determination of readiness by the OECD and totally outside the control of Dominica. Trinidad and Tobago is in the unique circumstance where the Government lacks the parliamentary majority under the country’s Constitution to undertake the legislative reforms required to be in compliance with the tax good governance standards.  Yet, despite this circumstance, the EU has retained Trinidad and Tobago on the blacklist for having a “’Non-Compliant’ rating by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes for Exchange of Information on Request.” The Caribbean Community reiterates that the labelling as ‘non-cooperative tax jurisdictions’ has wreaked irreparable reputational damage on our small, highly vulnerable Member States. CARICOM Member States have acted in good faith to mitigate this egregious action by the European Union while upholding the shared values and principles underlying the United Nations Addis Ababa Action Agenda.  These principles emphasize, inter alia, shared responsibility, mutual accountability, fairness, solidarity, and different and evolving capacities in respect to the mobilization of resources to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. However, the process of engagement which has unfolded between CARICOM Member States and the European Union, specifically from the latter part of 2017 until the present, has regrettably, been devoid of the shared values that have informed our relationship over the years prior.  There is a clear regression to the days of metropolitan imposed policies on the governed. The ECOFIN Council’s allegation of ‘harmful tax regimes’ not only lacked any supporting empirical evidence but the process has been non-consultative, inflexible and insensitive to our circumstances as small, highly vulnerable States seeking to build both economic and climate resilience.  Moreover, the EU has selectively relied on the OECD tax governance process to pursue the blacklisting of jurisdictions like Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago while ignoring the conclusions of the OECD FHTP in respect to the tax regimes in Barbados and Belize. It is becoming apparent that the actions of the ECOFIN Council are designed to destroy the financial sector in our Member States even as we seek to build resilience in all our economic sectors in order to mitigate our inherent vulnerabilities.   The Caribbean Community deplores this injurious development and will continue to resist this retrograde approach by the EU. EU AML/CFT Listing of Countries Among Priority Issues of… On Tuesday, 12 March 2019, the European Union issued a revised list of countries purportedly not adhering to tax good governance which included five (5) Members of the Caribbean Community, Barbados, Belize Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago and Bermuda. Seven (7) other Members of the Community have been placed on a monitoring list having made commitments to undertake reforms by December 2019 and are making efforts in that regard.  These are Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands. The narrative provided by the EU Council to support the inclusion of the blacklisted States is grossly misleading and misrepresents the response, in good faith, of our Members since the initial listing in December 2017. CARPHA Partners with, PAHO to Ensure Caribbean States’… Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… EU Provides €7M to Strengthen Climate Resilient Health… Jun 15, 2020 CARICOM wants inter-governmental tax body to set standards,… Jun 18, 2020 Oct 16, 2020 Feb 20, 2020 CARICOM voices strong objection to new EU blacklist(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana)     The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) strongly objects to the recent labelling of some of its Member States by the European Union as Non-cooperative tax jurisdictions, CARICOM Secretary-General said Wednesday, 12 December, 2017. He was at the time accrediting a new Ambassador of France to CARICOM,…December 15, 2017In “General”STATEMENT BY THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY (CARICOM) ON EU LIST OF NON-COOPERATIVE TAX JURISDICTIONSSTATEMENT BY THE CARIBBEAN COMMUNITY (CARICOM) ON EU LIST OF NON-COOPERATIVE TAX JURISDICTIONS     The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) strongly objects to the disappointing decision of the European Union to “blacklist” four CARIOM jurisdictions under the guise that they maintain harmful preferential tax regimes or have failed to comply with international…December 19, 2017In “Barbados”Barbados, Grenada, removed from EU tax listTwo Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States, Barbados and Grenada, were removed from the European Union’s (EU) list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. Back in December,  CARICOM had strongly objected to the EU’s decision to blacklist four CARICOM jurisdictions – Barbados, Grenada, Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago – under the…January 23, 2018In “Barbados”Share this on WhatsApplast_img read more

Read more

Teaching standards important for accountability – Dr. Douglas Slater

first_img   Dr. Laurette Bristol, Programme Manager, Human Development, CARICOM Secretariat Hon. Natalio Wheatley, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture of the British Virgin Islands Hon. Michael S Browne, Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Antigua and Barbuda Dr. Barbara Reynolds Dr. Marcel Hutson, Chief Education Officer, Ministry of Education Guyana Members of the audience at the opening ceremony of the Regional Consultations on Developing Standards for the Teaching Profession in Latin America and the Caribbean Region Ms. Katherine Grigsby, Director UNESCO Office in Kingston Dr. Douglas Slater, Assistant Secretary-General in Charge of Human and Social Development at the CARICOM Secretariat Hon. Natalio Wheatley, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture of the British Virgin Islands, Assistant Secretary General in Charge of Human and Social Development at the CARICOM Secretariat Dr. Douglas Slater and Minister of Education, Science and Technology , Antigua and Barbuda, Hon. Michael S Browne Describing the forum as timely, Dr. Slater said the Consultation also acknowledged the challenges being faced in education and sustainable development. According to him the standards held governments accountable and responsible for their educational investments and also held practitioners accountable for the time students invested in the classroom and the time parents were required to invest in schools to support the success of learners. CARICOM Education Ministers discuss Reshaping the sector for the 21st CenturyThe need for a “whole systems’ approach to education transformation in the Region is a major area of focus for Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ministers of Education at a 2-day meeting of the CARICOM Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) which opened in Guyana, Thursday. Chairman of the meeting,  Deputy…July 16, 2015In “CARICOM”Media Advisory – Opening, Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) – EducationThirty-Eighth Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) – Education 23 – 24 October 2019, CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana The Thirty-eighth Meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) on Education will be held on the 23-24 October 2019 at the Headquarters of the CARICOM…October 22, 2019In “CARICOM”Moving from Vision to Action: HRD 2030 StrategyMoving the regional Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy from Vision to Action is the major focus of a meeting of Caribbean Community Ministers of Education and Education Officials which began in Guyana, Wednesday. The Strategy, endorsed by CARICOM Heads of Government in 2017, is expected to help craft a globally…October 24, 2019In “CARICOM”Share this on WhatsApp Oct 16, 2020 Minister of Education, Science and Technology of Antigua and Barbuda, the Hon. Michael S. Browne, who also spoke at the opening, focused on three areas which he said were crucial to developing standards for the teaching profession. The areas were context, content and continuous assessment. In relation to context, he said the purpose of what was being taught and to whom was vital, while continuous assessment would inform educators about why they had been teaching. The Hon. Natalio Wheatley, Minister of Education, Culture, Youth Affairs, Fisheries and Agriculture of the British Virgin Islands said it was important to set a high threshold for those wishing to enter the profession. He said the British Virgin Islands had considered issuing licenses to teachers and that this would be one way of evaluating teachers and would not be used as a punitive measure but as a means of offering help to them. Oct 16, 2020 The consultation begins on Wednesday, 17 July 2019, at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre in Georgetown, Guyana, and is being facilitated https://t.co/PjkO5W5idi through a partnership with the CARICOM Secretariat, UNESCO and other stakeholders.— CARICOM (@CARICOMorg) July 16, 2019 Related Posts CMO says Saint Lucia at critical stage of COVID-19 outbreak center_img Chief Education Officer, Ministry of Education Guyana, Dr. Marcel Hutson, spoke on behalf of Guyana’s Minister of Education. He was also of the opinion that establishing standards for the teaching profession was timely and stated that it was needed for the transformation of the education sector. Director of the UNESCO Office in Kingston, Ms. Katherine Grigsby, in her remarks, said CARICOM had an important role in streamlining teaching standards. She said the framework that would be developed during the Consultation was expected to be inspirational rather than instructive. Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Planning and International Engagement of the University of Guyana, Dr. Barbara Reynolds, made the keynote address. She gave a PowerPoint presentation in which she highlighted that psychology was an important component of teaching. She urged participants to think about equipping teachers with standards that would help them to groom students to be what they wanted to become, how to learn and how to live with each other. This is the second in a series of Consultations which is being held in each of the five UNESCO regions. The first regional consultation workshop covered the Africa region and took place in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) on 18-19 March 2019. Following each regional consultation workshop, a group of international experts meets to review and discuss the input generated from the stakeholder discussions. Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… CARPHA Partners with, PAHO to Ensure Caribbean States’… Standards for the teaching profession were important as they held both governments and practitioners accountable, CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General, Human and Social Development, Dr. Douglas Slater said Wednesday. Dr. Slater was at the time addressing the opening of a two-day Regional Consultations on Developing Standards for the Teaching Profession in Latin America and the Caribbean Region. The event is being held at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre in Georgetown, Guyana. Educators, educator trainees, Ministers of Government, representatives of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and various other stakeholders attended the opening. Six Eastern Caribbean countries deemed safe for travel – CDC Oct 16, 2020 “The standards should be constructed as the lens that educational stakeholders, parents and students use to make sense of and monitor the outcomes of education as a social investment,” he stated.last_img read more

Read more

Outside gain

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Read more

Nitrogen in tyres a valuable application

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

Read more

Linde ‘raises bar’ in VOC testing with ISO accreditation

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

Read more

Butler wins CGA safety awards

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

Read more

Carburos Metálicos expands N2 generators range

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

Read more

BW Offshore Inks Contract Extension with HRT for FPSO Polvo

first_imgBW Offshore has signed an agreement with HRT for a one year extension for the lease and operation of the FPSO Polvo.The firm period has been extended to Q3 2015 (from Q3 2014), with options until Q3 2022.The Polvo oil field is owned by HRT (operator, 60%) and Maersk (40%). With reference to BW Offshore’s notice to the Oslo Stock Exchange on 13 December 2013, BW Offshore has signed a Letter of Intent to acquire 30% of the Polvo field from HRT.Press Release, January 13, 2014last_img

Read more

More Boeing orders for Qatar Airways

first_imgThe airline also received the first of the 747-8 freighters already on order at a delivery ceremony attended by Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways group chief executive, and Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and ceo Kevin McAllister. “The addition of our very first 747-8 Freighter is a significant moment for our cargo division, and a welcome addition to our 20-strong cargo fleet of wide-body aircraft,” said Al Baker. “Qatar Airways continues to invest in fleet expansion, with a second 747-8F due to be delivered in November.” Boeing claims its 747-8 freighter gives cargo operators the lowest operating costs and best economics of any large freighter aircraft while providing enhanced environmental performance. It is optimised to provide greater revenue cargo-carrying capability than the 747-400, offering 16 percent more cargo volume while keeping its unique nose door.  www.boeing.com www.qrcargo.comlast_img read more

Read more