Alexa

Caribbean news briefs

Caribbean news briefs

PUERTO RICO: U.S. health officials say island has had record number of dengue deaths
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) _ Health officials say a record number of people have died from dengue so far this year in Puerto Rico.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in a statement that 20 people have died from the mosquito-born virus in the U.S. Caribbean territory.
Center officials are investigating at least another dozen deaths possibly caused by the virus and more than 11,600 suspected cases. They also have confirmed 28 cases of the more serious hemorrhagic dengue.
In 1998, the virus killed 19 people and sickened 17,000.
Several other Caribbean islands have declared a dengue epidemic, with more than 80,000 cases reported in the region.
The CDC issued its statement Friday.
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US VIRGIN ISLANDS: Group rejects electronic voting machines during primary elections
CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) _ A group of activists protested the use of electronic voting machines during Saturday's primary in this U.S. Caribbean territory, demanding paper ballots despite officials' assurances that there have been no reports of problems with the devices.
The protesters, who numbered in the dozens, were denied provisional ballots because electoral rules say they can be used only by registered voters who show up at the correct polling place but whose names do not appear on the list.
Everyone else is required to use the machines, said Mabel Maduro, deputy elections supervisor in St. Thomas.
Several of the activists refused to leave the polls in protest, including Julein Hansen, 43, of St. Croix, who complained that when she tried to vote, the machine did not work properly.
Corinne Plaskett, deputy elections supervisor in St. Croix, said she was not aware of Hansen's case and there had been no reports of problems in Saturday's voting.
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GUYANA: Judge orders liquidation of failed insurance co., payment of $15M from emergency fund
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) _ A judge has ordered the complete liquidation of failed insurance company Clico in a decision that could help thousands of policyholders recover some of their money.
The Guyana branch of Colonial Life Insurance Co. must sell its prime real estate assets and extensive timber rights to offset losses to more than 15,000 policyholders, High Court Chief Justice Ian Chang ruled late Friday.
It is unclear how much the assets are worth, although the government has said Clico's liabilities of more than $60 million far exceed their value.
Chang's ruling upheld a similar decision last year that was challenged. Another appeal is possible, but Clico's lead attorney, Roysdale Forde, told Stabroek News he was not surprised by the verdict and did not know whether the company intends to continue the case.
Chang also ordered the Bank of Guyana to distribute the $15 million promised last year from a regional emergency fund created to help policyholders.
Bank governor Lawrence Williams said Saturday that those affected would be paid within a "reasonable time," but was not more specific.
Guyana seized Clico after its parent company in Trinidad, CL Financial Ltd., received a government bailout. CL Financial recorded huge losses in real estate investments and could not borrow enough money on credit markets frozen by the global financial crisis.