Caribbean Report 16-02-1999

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1. Headlines with anchor Ken Richards (00:35)
2. Bertram Niles reports on statements by Caribbean Development Bank President Sir Neville Nicholls on the improved economic management of its borrowing member countries. In 1998 Turks and Caicos recorded the highest growth (13%), followed by Anguilla (7%), Saint Kitts and Nevis (7%) and Barbados (5%). Guyana experienced a decline as a result of drought, civil unrest and deteriorating terms of trade. The region remained insulated against ongoing turbulence in the global financial market. Sir Nicholls attributes this strong performance on improved economic and fiscal measures implemented throughout the region but warns of challenges if market problems continue in South East Asia and if economic problems in Brazil spread to Latin American. Moderate growth in Caribbean economies is expected in 1999 (00:36 - 02:22)
3. In Antigua, public opinion polls signal that Prime Minister Lester Bird governing Antigua Labour Party may retain power in the upcoming elections. Reporter Louis Daniel reports on the opposition United Progressive Party readiness and challenges in unseating the current government based on their performance over the past five years (02:23 - 05:15)
4. In Anguilla, former Chief Minister Ronald Webster has decided to enter the election race on March 4 as an independent candidate against incumbent Hubert Hughes. Mr. Webster comments on declining economic development and fiscal debt and deficit in Anguilla (05:16 - 06:16)
5. Anguilla and Montserrat are among overseas British dependencies whose future are the subject of debate in London. Britain is expected to publish long awaited plans for its overseas territories in a white paper in mid-March of this year. Ken Richards reports (06:17 - 06:50)
6. Cuban National Assembly authorities have signaled a strong push against crime in the country by unveiling tough new laws aimed at political opponents found collaborating with the United States government. Keith Stone Greaves reports on the enactment of new laws aimed at eradicating criminal activities including drug trafficking and harsh penalties ranging from long prison sentences to the death penalty. The Cuban government defends enactment of the new laws as measures designed to protect national independence and the Cuban economy. Ken Richards reports (06:51 - 11:36)
7. Chelston Lee provides a summary on carnival events in Trinidad and Tobago highlighting the annual parade of the bands (11:37 - 15:24)
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