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Caribbean news briefs

Caribbean news briefs

JAMAICA: Families return to homes nearly 3 weeks after violence forced them to leave
KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) _ Scores of residents from two crime-ridden enclaves near Jamaica's capital have returned to their homes two weeks after escalating gang violence forced them to leave, local authorities said Sunday.
"Some people are moving back with the help of the police. The gun activity has stopped and there is some semblance of normalcy," said Monsignor Richard Albert, chairman of a crime-prevention group in the violence-wracked neighborhoods of Gravel Heights and Tredegar Park.
Feuding armed gangs had forced more than 200 people from their homes on Dec. 10. Families packed mattresses, clothes and other belongings into trucks and cars to escape the gun violence.
Police Supt. Assan Thompson said more than 100 arrests of gangsters have been made in recent days. He said they are still looking for the leaders of the One Order and Clansman gangs, known mostly for extortion.
Gang takeovers of impoverished Jamaican communities are fairly common. In recent years, the groups have temporarily ousted residents from east Kingston as well as from poor rural towns.
The most recently targeted communities are located near Spanish Town _ about 14 miles (23 kilometers) west of Kingston _ where gangs have been fighting for control for nearly 10 years.
In early December, a separate gang burned down a tenement in Kingston and left more than 40 people homeless. Most of the victims had lived there for almost 60 years.
GUYANA: Gov't distributes antibiotics to contain leptospirosis outbreak in flooded villages
GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) _ Health workers on Sunday distributed antibiotics to contain an outbreak of a waterborne bacterial disease in swaths of coastal Guyana, where December rains have flooded low-lying villages and cultivated fields.
Knee-deep water stands in several villages east of Guyana's capital after rains started flooding the area two weeks ago. Nearly 70 people have been diagnosed with leptospirosis, a disease spread through exposure to water contaminated with the urine of animals.
Health Minister Leslie Ramsammy told reporters that officials were closely monitoring the flood-hit towns and will evacuate anyone showing symptoms of the infectious, potentially fatal disease, which include fever, chills, vomiting and kidney failure.
He urged people with symptoms to seek help immediately.
More than 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain have fallen in some parts of the South American country in less than two days. The floods have displaced hundreds of people, many to the homes of relatives and friends.
December is among the rainiest months in Guyana. Many areas along the country's coastline are located below sea level and flash floods are a threat during storms.
PUERTO RICO: Outgoing governor acknowledges missteps during his 4-year term
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) _ Puerto Rico's indicted governor says he recognizes he has made mistakes during his nearly concluded four-year term but that he always strived to serve Puerto Rico.
Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila makes the comments on a four-minute video posted Sunday on the social networking site Facebook. The outgoing governor says "although I committed errors, like all human beings, I always did what I understood to be correct and right." He did not specify his mistakes.
Acevedo was ousted in November elections by a challenger who pledged to fight crime and spur the island's ailing economy, which is in its third year of recession.
He faces a corruption trial in February for alleged campaign finance violations, but denies any wrongdoing.
PUERTO RICO: Homicide rate climbs to 802, highest in 12 years
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) _ Police say weekend killings in Puerto Rico have pushed this U.S. territory's annual homicide rate above 800 victims for the first time in more than a decade.
Authorities say in a statement that the bodies of two of the victims were found on Sunday and three others on Saturday.
The most recent violence brings the homicide rate for this year to 802. The deadliest year on record is 1996, when 868 violent deaths were recorded on this island of nearly 4 million inhabitants.
In 2007, the high violent crime rate in the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan led the U.S. Justice Department to dispatch additional teams of federal agents to combat gangs. But the homicide rate continues to soar in the densely populated city.
CRICKET: New Zealand beats West Indies by 36 runs in second Twenty20
HAMILTON, New Zealand (AP) _ Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder put on 130 runs for the opening wicket to set up New Zealand's 36-run win over the West Indies in the second Twenty20 international.
The win tied the two-match series 1-1 after the West Indies won the opener in a one-over eliminator after the teams were tied.
McCullum hit 59 from 34 balls with six fours and four sixes and Ryder 62 from 41 balls with seven fours and three sixes as New Zealand reached 191-9 from its 20 overs, its highest score in Twenty20 matches.
Daniel Vettori took 2-19 and Jeetan Patel 2-12 as New Zealand restricted the West Indies to 155-7 in their 20 overs in reply.
New Zealand's win ended an eight-match losing streak in Twenty20 internationals and produced the first definitive result of the West Indies tour after both matches in the two-test series were drawn.
"It was a very good win," New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori said. "I'm really pleased with the performance barring five or six overs when we were batting.
Ryder and McCullum smashed their way to 130 from only 11.4 overs before McCullum was caught by Shivnarine Chanderpaul off the bowling of Chris Gayle. The hosts threatened a massive total but collapsed as the last nine wickets fell for 61 runs off 51 balls.


Updated : 2021-06-20 15:10 GMT+08:00