Image: The collection of weapons seized from students. [PHOTO: By PhotoMike]

CRIMINAL STUDENTS – Police Show Off Weapons And Drugs Seized

TED King, the police corporal in charge of the northern section of the Community Relations Branch is calling for crime prevention programmes targeting secondary school students following an astounding amount of weapons and illegal drugs seized from them last year and the year before. Warning that offenders and victims of crime are getting younger at an alarming rate, which should be a cause for concern to the nation, he promised that his department will continue its pro-active approach in educating the youth through school presentations, organizing crime prevention programmes and conducting professional random school searches and interventions.

Violence Claims 6 Lives In Single Day

JUST 10 days into the new year and already the country has been rocked by an unprecedented level of violence, resulting in six fatalities in a single day (Sunday) and several incidents of gunplay. The homicide count to date is eight, the latest incident occurring yesterday in the Morne Du Don area where it was reported that one man succumbed to gunshots to the head and back.

Image of Chief Executive Officer of the Citizenship by Investment Unit (CIU), Cindy Emmanuel-McLean

Citizenship Made Easier

IT is now cheaper to acquire St Lucia citizenship by way of investment. This follows changes to the regulations governing the Citizenship by Investment Programme (CIP) just announced by the government. The qualifying contribution for an applicant for St. Lucia citizenship is now US$100,000 or half what it was when the programme was announced at the beginning of last year.

Image: The newly-refurbished courthouse on Peynier Street remains closed nearly a year after works were said to be completed. [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]

Call for Reopening of Main Courthouse

DESPITE promises by both the former and current government to open the doors to the newly-refurbished main courthouse on Peynier Street in Castries in the quickest time possible, the building remains closed. Since undergoing a lengthy period of refurbishment after the court went into recess in July last year, the courthouse has been a hot discussion topic among members of the legal fraternity who were promised that the building would have been opened for the commencement of the new law year by mid-September last year.

Image of Home Affairs Minister, Hermangild Francis

CRIME WORRY – Minister Promises To Remedy Situation

WITH crime being one of the major factors making the headlines this year, much more is being expected of the police than is currently being done to reassure citizens that things can change for the better next year as far as their safety is concerned. Homicides, burglaries, rapes and drug offences are just some of the issues law enforcement have seemingly failed to keep under control, prompting many to suggest that a real paradigm shift needs to be implemented rather than just being promised.

JAZZ – Time For Change

THE event known as ‘St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival’ will no longer carry that name, however the primary activities staged under that banner have not been abolished, contrary to reports that may have given the impression this was the case. The misunderstanding lies in a move by government to group all national festivals under one banner which is loosely being called the Summer Music Festival to be managed by a Festival Commission. This Commission is expected to be established hopefully within the first week of next month, according to Donovan Williams, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture.

Police In All Out War on Crime

THE Royal St. Lucia Police Force has unleashed its strategy for combating criminal acts this festive season with a major component focusing on community assistance. Police Commissioner Severin Moncherry is appealing to the public to get involved in the fight against crime by reporting suspicious characters to the police and acts of criminality they have witnessed or are witnessing, whatever the case maybe.

NEW ZIKA CONCERNS

NEW concerns about the impact of the Zika virus in St Lucia were raised yesterday in a statement from the Ministry of Health which announced “heightened surveillance” of pregnant women confirmed with the disease.
The Ministry said presently, it is monitoring 50 pregnant women who have tested positive for the Zika Virus Disease. All of the pregnant women confirmed so far have recovered from the illness. However, given the concerns regarding pregnancy outcomes in Zika positive pregnant women, they are being monitored closely through antenatal care services.

Human rights advocate, Mary Francis. [PHOTO: Stan Bishop]

STAND UP FOR RIGHTS – Attorney Mary Francis Calls for Citizens’ Empowerment

WITH Human Rights Day being observed today, attorney and human rights advocate, Mary Francis, is renewing her call for citizens’ rights to be respected. As such, she is urging the political directorate and citizens to ensure that measures are in place to aid in facilitating that objective. Francis, who also serves as Coordinator of the National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights Inc., a non-governmental organization established in 1998 to promote and advance the importance of human rights through education and legal representation, is concerned that people’s rights are not being treated as a priority.

Image of Chairman Timothy Mangal

NHC Bankrupt, Unable to Pay Its Debts

THE National Housing Corporation (NHC) is bankrupt, broke and unable to honour its debts. Chairman Timothy Mangal made the announcement Tuesday at a press conference. He puts the Corporation’s insolvency squarely on the shoulders of the previous administration and the house and land deals it made with foreign companies such as Bau Panel Systems, the Levity Group and other contractors.

Image of Peter “RasIpa” Isaac

Vendors Call For VAT Ease

ARCADE vendors in Castries are asking on the Castries Constituency Council (CCC) not to introduce the value added tax to their monthly rental fee which is $120. 00 as this would be going against an exemption they say was given to them by the previous government. The Council recently informed vendors that the monthly rental of booths at the arcade would be moved to $138 as a result of a sales tax effective this month. This was the first time vendors were being billed by the Council hence the introduction of the sales tax.

Image: Prime Minister Allen Chastanet set the example for the rest of the nation on Thursday by voluntarily taking an HIV test.

Red Cross D.G. Concerned – Bring Back H.I.V. Hype

THE Director General of the St. Lucia Red Cross Terrencia Gaillard has expressed concern about the serious lack of education and awareness of the HIV/AIDS that continues to claim thousands of lives across the globe. Gaillard spoke exclusively to The VOICE, expressing her dismay and frustration over the glaring fact that the topic of HIV/AIDS has seemingly become a dormant issue to the respective bodies and institutions charged with disseminating information and educating the masses about it..

Image of Home Affairs Minister, Hermangild Francis

IMPACS Action Soon

POLICE officers who have been fingered in a report by a team from the CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) investigating fatal shooting incidents six years ago will soon know their fate. The entire police force has been asked to assist in bringing closure to the matter which has been hanging over its head for several months.

Image of Prince Harry

HELLO HARRY! – Prince Comes In Today for Whirlwind Visit

ST. LUCIA’S appreciation of the English Monarchy will be tested today when, Prince Henry of Wales, familiarly known as Prince Harry touches St. Lucian soil to start a short visit. It is part of a 14 day official engagement in countries of the Caribbean in which the Queen is Sovereign, except Guyana which is a republic but is part pf the Commonwealth of Nations. It is also to mark the occasion of Antigua and Barbuda’s 35th Anniversary of Independence and the 50th for Barbados and Guyana.