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News Round-Up for weekending, Saturday November 21,2015

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FOUR teams are meeting in Trinidad & Tobago, to contest the CFU final round of competition of the Women’s Olympic Qualifying soccer, being played at the Ato Boldon Stadium.
Three teams will qualify for the next round, hence the losers will play off today, for the third and final Caribbean spot and join Canada, Mexico, USA, Costa Rica and Guatemala for the CONCACAF championships. Two teams from CONCACAF will qualify for the Olympics set for Rio, Brazil, next summer.

 
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VICE Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Professor Hilary Beckles says he does not support calls for the dissolution of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). The former WICB director is suggesting a restructuring exercise that would allow the WICB to emerge “stronger, legitimate and more respected”.
Sir Hilary added that such a development would be worthy of grand celebration in 2027 when the board will have reached the milestone of 100 years of service to regional cricket and Caribbean nationhood.
“Old institutions, furthermore, like WICB and the UWI, are cultural treasures within our new and emerging societies and should be preserved for posterity but change with the times they must,” Sir Hilary pointed out. “This is not an easy task. Stakeholders have the right to demand their transformation and must facilitate their adaptation.”
Sir Hilary’s comments were contained in a letter to the Barbados Today and came on the heels of an independent review Panel of the Caribbean Community Subcommittee on Cricket Governance.
The panel, chaired by his academic colleague and principal of the UWI Cave Hill Campus, Professor Eudine Barriteau, recommended the WICB be disbanded and an interim committee installed to run the affairs of cricket in the region.
“As we enter this second phase of nation-building, a new management model for the WICB is required so that it may persist as fit for purpose. This is where we have reached,” said Professor Beckles. “The report on cricket governance penned by the distinguished Hon PJ Patterson has set the tone and texture for WICB’s financial and corporate reform, and systemic governance change.
It sets out a new model that is now seen more clearly as compelling.” Chairman of the Caribbean Community Subcommittee on Cricket Governance, Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell, of Grenada, has called for an urgent meeting with the WICB to discuss the implementation of the recommendations from the panel.
During a meeting in Grenada earlier this year between Caricom prime ministers and the WICB, led by President Dave Cameron, the regional body had given a commitment that the recommendations would be implemented.
“The university has an open communication channel to the leadership of the WICB and has reason to believe that they are ready for dialogue with Caricom in respect of review and reform. We pray, however, that it is now seeing the way to implement the more far-reaching recommendations of the Patterson and Barriteau reports,” said Beckles.
“The time has come. There is an opportunity for favorable result to this end. The UWI places itself officially at the disposal of Caricom and the WICB and joins with the Hon PJ Patterson and Chairman Mitchell, and all stakeholders, to participate in the formal reform process.”

 

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THE House of Representatives has passed the Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) Evidence Act 2015, promised by Government since 2006, as a major and essential weapon in the fight against crime.
Debate on the Bill, which began in June, was initially delayed for approximately one week to accommodate any further submissions from stakeholders, after Opposition spokesman on National Security, Derrick Smith had urged the National Security Minister Peter Bunting to refer the Bill to a joint select committee of Parliament for further review.
Minister Bunting said then that the shorter delay would allow other individuals or institutions, like the Bar Association, to submit concerns. However, the delay lasted nearly six months.
Bunting told the House of Representatives that a joint select committee would have taken closer to two years to resolve the issues which were raised.
He said that concerns raised by the Bar Association were assessed by his ministry and the Attorney General’s Department. However, he said that nothing was raised that could not be adequately addressed under the current provisions of the Bill.
Yesterday, in his delayed contribution to the debate, Smith said that unlike suggestions from some sources, the Opposition had no intention of delaying the Bill by asking that it be referred to a joint select committee.
However, Smith said that the country must be assured that the constitutional rights of all Jamaicans, including in terms of the use of “reasonable force” in taking samples from persons suspected of criminal offenses, are protected.
“These are issues which need to be addressed, and we should not pass this Bill without implicit assurance that the constitutional rights of our citizens will be protected at all levels,” Smith said.
Opposition spokesman on justice, Delroy Chuck suggested that the system should function in such a way that people are not afraid of DNA testing.
He said that DNA testing was a major tool in not only catching criminals, but also in freeing innocent accused persons. However, he said that the police have to be careful how they gets samples and how they use those samples.
Attorney General Patrick Atkinson said that the Bill was “a watershed and critical piece of legislation”. The Bill was unanimously approved and will now go to the Senate for approval.

 
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DEAN Barrow was on Thursday, sworn in as the prime minister of Belize by the Governor-General Sir Colville Young at a brief ceremony held at Belize House in Belmopan.

This is Barrow’s third consecutive term in office and the third time serving as prime minister, after leading his United Democratic Party (UDP) to a 19-12 victory over the Peoples United Party (PUP) in last Wednesday’s general elections.

The other elected members of Barrow’s administration are expected to be appointed and sworn-in.

Meanwhile, PUP leader Francis Fonseca told reporters that he was stepping down following the party’s defeat and a new leader would be chosen at the party’s next national convention.

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