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Caribbean news briefs

Caribbean news briefs

TRINIDAD: Judge orders 19 years at hard labor for man who killed US teen on island
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (AP) _ A judge on Monday sentenced a man to 19 years at hard labor for stabbing to death an American teenager on the southern Caribbean island of Tobago.
Sean Antoine, 28, was convicted in April of killing 14-year-old Kitty Pepe of Keene, New York. They had dated previously but had broken up before he repeatedly stabbed her on July 1, 2005, at the home where she had been staying with her mother in the seaside town of Charlotteville.
Antoine faced a possible death sentence if convicted of murder, but jurors convicted him of manslaughter after he testified the girl had taunted him, a defense that outraged the girl's family. The lesser charge meant he could be sentenced to as little as the time he had already served since his arrest.
Justice Geoffrey Henderson said at the sentencing hearing in Scarborough, the capital of Tobago, that Antoine did not deserve the lesser charge of manslaughter and the sentence was intended to send a message it is inappropriate for men to be involved with underage girls.
Wayne Sturge, Antoine's attorney, told The Associated Press after the hearing that he considered the sentence reasonable and did not plan to appeal. Under the laws of Trinidad and Tobago, he will only have to serve about 14 years of the sentence.
Kitty had visited the island occasionally since 1997 while her mother worked on sea turtle conservation efforts in Tobago, which had long been considered peaceful but has been shaken by a number of violent attacks on foreigners in recent years.
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JAMAICA: Magnitude-4.7 earthquake rattles country; no reports of damage, injuries
KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) _ A moderate earthquake has rattled Jamaica, causing some panic but no reported damage.
The U.S. Geological Service says the magnitude-4.7 quake on Monday morning was centered about 38 miles (62 kilometers) south of the north coast city of Montego Bay. It had a depth of about 19 miles (31 kilometers).
Panicked shoppers ran into the streets and some people lingered outdoors, fearing aftershocks. Several office buildings were evacuated in the southern capital of Kingston and in Montego Bay.
Office worker Dorothy Hill describes the shaking as "a little frightening."
Raymond Stewart of Jamaica's University of West Indies' earthquake unit says the local agency measured the quake at magnitude-5.0.
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CUBA: Gov't says newly independent transportation workers joining pre-existing unions
HAVANA (AP) _ Independent Cuban transportation workers are joining unions as part of a sweeping economic overhaul that's allowing increased private-sector activity.
The official labor newspaper Trabajadores says workers including bicycle taxi operators, car washers and people who repair tires are joining existing syndicates.
Havana bike taxi union representative Carlos Reyes Martinez tells the paper that this "very important" measure lets workers defend their rights and express grievances.
Trabajadores didn't give details Monday on how many workers have joined unions.
President Raul Castro has set in motion changes to stimulate Cuba's struggling economy.
While officials have said private workers could join pre-existing unions, this is the first report of such activity.
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DOMREP: Health Ministry declares cholera alert in parts of capital as new cases mount
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) _ A wave of new cholera cases has prompted the Dominican Republic's Health Ministry to declare a state of alert in 17 neighborhoods in the capital.
Doctors are out in force looking for people with symptoms of the waterborne disease. Vice Minister of Health Jose Rodriguez said Monday that 16 people are hospitalized with suspected cholera. He says all are in stable condition but there have been two deaths in recent days.
Cholera had not been detected in the Dominican Republic until after the outbreak in neighboring Haiti in October. Fourteen people have died from the outbreak, and 750 cases have been detected in the Dominican Republic. Cholera has killed nearly 5,000 in Haiti.
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CARIBBEAN: Dominican Republic, Jamaica in trade standoff over $250,000 shipment of cement
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) _ A Dominican consumer protection agency says it will not allow a shipment of Jamaican cement valued at $250,000 to be unloaded because it lacks certification to guarantee its quality.
The Monday announcement comes two days after the Jamaican government gave the Dominican Republic a 48-hour deadline to release the shipment of cement from the Kingston-based Carib Cement Company, which has been held by Dominican officials since last month.
Jamaican Industry Minister Karl Samuda insists that the delay unloading the shipment in the Dominican Republic has unfairly resulted in $50,000 in losses for the Jamaican company.
But the Dominican Republic announced Monday that laboratory tests are needed to determine the quality of the cement.
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HAITI: UN chief picks former Chilean foreign minister to run Haiti peacekeeping mission
UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ Chile's former foreign minister is the new U.N. envoy to Haiti.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced Monday that Mariano Fernandez will replace Edmond Mulet as head of the seven-year-old international peacekeeping force at the end of May.
Mulet took the job after his predecessor, Hedi Annabi, died in the 2010 earthquake.
Fernandez inherits a military force of more than 12,000 soldiers and police that has come under increasing criticism as the Caribbean nation struggles to rebuild.
A U.N. panel recently acknowledged after months of denials that its troops likely introduced the cholera bacteria that has killed nearly 5,000 Haitians.
Just-inaugurated President Michel Martelly wants to build a new Haitian Army to replace the foreign force.
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PUERTO RICO: US Coast Guard searches for missing Greek sailor
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) _ The U.S. Coast Guard says it is searching the Atlantic Ocean for a Greek mariner who apparently fell overboard as his ship passed north of the Dominican Republic.
Coast Guard spokesman Ricardo Castrodad said Monday that a Florida-based plane and a cutter based in Puerto Rico are being used in the search.
The 24-year-old mariner from Greece apparently fell overboard on Saturday as his ship passed about 155 miles (250 kilometers) north of Samana in the Dominican Republic.
He was aboard the 748-foot (228-meter) Greek-flagged Velopoula. The ship was sailing from Aruba to Staten Island, New York, when the sailor disappeared.
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BASEBALL: Cleveland Indians unveil baseball training academy in Dominican Republic
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) _ The Cleveland Indians unveiled a new training academy in the Dominican Republic in an effort to develop more young baseball prospects from the talent-rich country and other Latin American nations.
Team official Ramon Pena says the new $2.6 million facility in San Antonio de Guerra can house 72 players and includes two regulation-size baseball fields, bullpen training mounds, a gymnasium, and classrooms.
Dominican President Leonel Fernandez joined the team's executives at a Monday ribbon-cutting ceremony at the academy, which will serve as the hub for the U.S. Major League Baseball club's Latin American operations.


Updated : 2021-05-11 07:21 GMT+08:00