Caribbean Report 02-01-2003



Table of Contents

1. Headlines (00:00-00:26)
2. Authorities in Puerto Rico say they have recaptured four of five murder convicts who made a dramatic escape from a maximum security prison in Ponce. Police are continuing their search for the remaining prisoner. Ben Meade reports (00:27-02:19)
3. The murder rate in Jamaica showed a modest seven percent decline in 2002 but the government still deems the figure of one thousand and forty-five murders unacceptable. National Security Minister Dr. Peter Phillips says anti-crime measures will be stepped up country-wide in 2003. Conrad Hamilton reports (02:20-04:09
4. In Britain researchers are calling for an independent inquiry into the country’s justice system after finding that people of African and Caribbean origin are more likely to be sent to prison. Professor Jeremy Coid who led the study said blacks are more likely to receive imprisonment, even though it’s their first offence (04:10-04:47)
5. In 2002 there were general elections in three Caribbean nations, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica where the governing parties stayed in office and the Bahamas where there was a change of government. Although no elections are scheduled in 2003, Peter Wickham tells Bertram Niles why Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur is likely to call one (04:48-08:30)
6. Cable and Wireless which is battling new telecoms' competition in the Caribbean wants to add another forty to the one hundred and forty already laid off in Jamaica. Meanwhile Barbados is the latest Caribbean market where a battle for telecoms' share is looming. Susie Blann reports (08:31-10:10)
7. Government and opposition leaders in Venezuela are due to re-start negotiations to end the country’s political crisis. They are awaiting the arrival of the official mediator, the Secretary General of the OAS, César Gaviria. The goal of the Opposition's national strike is to force the Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez out of office (10:11-10:46)
8. Antigua’s Opposition Leader, Baldwin Spencer reacts to an offer from Prime Minister, Lester Bird for a bi-partisan approach to some burning national issues by saying that the latter’s agenda needs to be broadened and include issues like electoral reform, a matter on which both sides are currently at odds (10:47-12:07)
9. In Britain, secret files released by the public record office show the husband of Queen Elizabeth casting doubt on the granting of independence to seven Caribbean colonies. In 1965, Prince Phillip told then British Prime Minister Harold Wilson that under British protection the islands could become viable and even prosperous (12:08-12:49)
10. One story type that is not being highlighted by Caribbean media is the existence of wide-spread child labour. A study sponsored by the International Labour Organisation Office in Port of Spain finds that child labour exists in this region in its worst form, child prostitution. This Tony Fraser report includes Dr. Dan's appeal to the media (12:50-14:50)
11. A fifteen year old British schoolboy is at the half-way mark in his bid to become the youngest person to sail across the Atlantic Ocean single-handedly. Seb Clover is racing his father Ian in the head to head solo race from Santa Cruz de Tenerife to Antigua, a three thousand mile journey (14:51-15:06)
12. In closing, the people of Saint Kitts and Nevis are winding down their annual Carnival celebrations. The final parade of bands is taking place in its capital, Basseterre (15:07-15:32)