Recent developments by the IMF in Jamaica and now the Bahamas portend significant problems for these two prominent West Indian Countries going forward. In the case of the Bahamas IMF intervention would be even more serious than is the case with Jamaica. While the Jamaican Debt to GDP ratio overrun of 140 percent is higher than that of the Bahamas, Jamaica has a more developed Capital Market Driven Economy (CMDE) and consequently many more avenues to attempt compliance with any IMF sanctions.
Under pressure from the IMF Jamaica has entered a formal proposal to reduce their debt to GDP ratio from 140 to 95 percent over the next five years. Included in the proposal which Jamaica hopes the IMF will approve is an attempt to get their bond holders to accept a reduction in their payouts. Other elements of the plan as reported in The Caribbean Journal include intensifying tax reform efforts, with greater levels of tax compliance, and increasing public sector transformation. Jamaica is also attempting to eliminate discretionary tax waivers, and secure a contract with public sector workers to achieve a wage-to-GDP ratio of 9 percent by 2015/2016. It is also reported that Jamaica has already completed significant portions of a Public Debt Management Act.
In a packed high school gym in Las Vegas, Nevada, President Barack Obama calmly spoke on the real possibility of comprehensive immigration reform. As I sat in my chair just 15 feet away from the president, I was trying to understand what was going on in front of me. As an individual that was undocumented for 22 years here in the United States, I couldnâ€™t believe that I was about to hear a speech that I have dreamed of my entire adult life.
Only four months prior, I would have not been allowed in to this event since I wouldnâ€™t have been able to provide proper identification. Back then, I was an undocumented immigrant with very little opportunity in this country. Words can't and never will truly explain what it means to be undocumented. It would be like describing what a marathon feels like to someone who has never ran more than a mile. But as someone who has seen both side of the undocumented line, I am hopeful that, this time, change will come.
An attempt by reggae entertainer Sizzla Kalonji to unilaterally impose himself as the â€˜presidentâ€™ of Rastafari in Jamaica, and thereby seize control of the movement globally, has been vehemently rejected by a broad cross section of Rastafari organizations and individuals in Jamaica and internationally.
Miguel Collins, popularly known as Sizzla Kalonji, publicly announced himself to be the leader of the Rastafari movement following his â€˜inaugurationâ€™ as â€˜presidentâ€™ on Oct. 21, 2012, at the Lionâ€™s Club in Old Harbour, St. Catherine, Jamaica. Some are hailing this development as a great step forward for the Rastafari movement.
Agencies in the United States and Haiti have teamed up to launch an anti-corruption hotline in the French-speaking Caribbean nation.
The U.S. Agency for International Development, Office of Inspector General (USAID OIG) and La Fondation Heritage pour Haiti (LFHH), the Haitian chapter of Transparency International (TI), have been operating the hotline in Haiti. The aim is to help fight corruption and promote accountability in aid programs in Haiti. It is being advertised on radio, television and vehicles used by USAID's implementing partners.
The 24-hour hotline accepts allegations in English, French and creole and has been receiving complaints since it launched in Dec. 2012.