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United States officials say they have made the first approvals a month after they started a program to suspend deportations of young illegal Caribbean and other immigrants.

Officials said last month that, to date, more than 72,000 immigrants have applied for the temporary reprieve since the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began receiving the documents on Aug. 15.

Simpson_Miller_-_UNJamaica’s Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller spoke up for middle-income states before last month’s United Nations General Assembly here, calling on the international community not to forget them in aid for development and the fight against disease.

“We urge that middle income countries not be pushed to the margins of the development agenda, nor be put on the fringe of the development assistance provided by the international community,” she told world leaders on the third day of the assembly’s annual general debate.

Irving-Barrington---3On Mar. 23, 2007, Jamaican-born Barrington Irving became the youngest pilot to fly around the world. The then 24-year-old circled the globe in a single-engine aircraft, the only African American to do so.

Since making history over five years ago, Irving has founded the Build and Soar Aviation Program, which is designed to encourage inner-city youth and minority students to pursue careers in aviation and aerospace. The program survived some turbulence, but has steadily gathered momentum.

Oxley_Roger The Caribbean can learn a lot from the Gulf states about executing a bold vision for development as well as the benefits of greater tolerance for its citizens regardless of color, class or creed, according to a West Indian living and working in the Middle East.

Trinidadian Roger Oxley, who teaches students in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE), believes democracy as it is understood in the West “ain’t all it’s cracked up to be” and believes there is room for a “new vision for government” in the Caribbean.