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Heavy Fines for Breaching Plastic Ban Law in Barbados, But Opposition Says They’re Too High

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Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy, Kirk Humphrey announced fines as high as BDS$50,000 (US$25,000).

BRIDGETOWN,
Barbados, Wednesday March 27, 2019
– As government prepares to
implement a ban on petroleum-based plastics, importers, retailers and users
have been warned that they will face serious consequences, if they breach the
new law.

From April 1, the ban on importation of such petro-based
single-use products will be enforced, while the distribution, sale and use of
such products will be banned from July 1.

After those dates, government is proposing to enforce penalties
ranging as high as BDS$50,000 (US$25,000) or a year’s imprisonment, or both,
for importing, offering for sale, or using single-use plastics in Barbados.

This was announced by Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue
Economy, Kirk Humphrey, during the second reading of the Control of Disposable
Plastics Bill 2019, in the House of Assembly on Monday.

Single-use plastic containers refer to those made using plastic or
polystyrene, and included cups, food containers, and egg trays used in the
culinary retail industry.

Under the Bill, it is proposed that anyone who imports, offers for
sale, sells or uses single-use plastic or cutlery after the deadline had passed
would be guilty of an offence, and would be liable on summary conviction to the
BDS$50,000 (US$25,000) fine, a year’s imprisonment, or both. And, anyone
continuing the practice can be fined BDS$1,000 (US$500) for each day or part
thereof, during which the offence continues.

Minister Humphrey also noted that from July 1, no person shall
import, sell or use any single-use plastic containers or any single-use plastic
cutlery that is labelled or marketed as “environmentally sustainable” unless
that person has applied for, and obtained a BDS$25 (US$12.50) licence under the
proposed Act.

“This is to ensure that importers bring in the kind of products
that are in compliance with what Barbados is seeking to achieve,” he said,
noting that importers would also be subjected to the same fines if they are
caught breaching the proposed Act.

However, Opposition Leader Joseph Atherley says the fines outlined are too high for sellers.

“I have serious concerns about the hefty fines for infringements on the ban on plastics beyond the given date. I believe those fines are too high. You could have made two separate stipulations—one that applies to the importers and manufacturers and another for the sellers. Charging the manufacturers and importers $50,000 is fine, but I am not comfortable with it being so high for the sellers, especially the small vendors,” he told Parliament.

Opposition Leader Joseph Atherley says the fines are too high for sellers.

Meantime, Minister Humphrey told Parliament that some plastics
would be exempt from the ban.

They are: plastic bags designed for, packaged and retailed
specifically for the disposal of waste from households, public spaces, business
places, offices or industrial plants – garbage bags; plastic bags or
polystyrene containers for items for pharmaceutical dispensing or any other
medical use; plastic bags or plastic containers designed for the storage of
agricultural products; plastic bags used for the preservation of food items; trays
made of polystyrene used in the packaging of fresh meat; plastic straws
attached to tetra pack boxes; and plastic bags for the preservation of food
items.

Humphrey also noted that local plastic bag manufacturers will be
able to continue their trade, but for export purposes only. 

“We understand that local manufacturers do a significant share of business overseas. So, they can make them here but they cannot use them here,” he said.

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Guyana and Ghana Sign Deal for Visa-Free Travel

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Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Karen Cummings (seated at left) and Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Shirley Botchwey, sign the bilateral agreements as Guyana’s President David Granger (left) and Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo observe.

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Wednesday June 12 , 2019 – Guyana and Ghana have signed an agreement that will allow citizens to travel to each other’s countries without need for visas.

The
visa waiver agreement was one of several bilateral agreements covering several
areas of mutual interest, which were signed yesterday after Ghana’s President
Nana Akufo-Addo arrived in the country for a two-day State visit.

Director
General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon, told the media that the
abolition of visa requirements for citizens of the two states will apply to all
holders of diplomatic, official and regular Guyanese passports.

“In
the initial stages, they will be entitled to at least 90 days without having to
renew, but after 90 days then there will be a requirement for a renewal based
on the laws of the respective countries,” he explained.

Harmon
said one of the other agreements related to Ghana lending technical support to Guyana’s
oil and gas sector.

“The
President of Ghana made a very clear offer that they are prepared to assist
Guyana with technical cooperation with the personnel and so on to assist with
the development of the oil and gas sector,” he said.

“What
they did was to commit to paying salaries and transportation to get them here
and what we will need to do is find accommodation for them.”

Additionally,
agreements on trade and industry were signed as the West African territory
expressed interest in Guyana’s timber and rum industries.

The
agreements were all signed by Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Karen
Cummings and Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration
Shirley Botchwey, as President David Granger and President Akufo-Addo looked on.

President Akufo-Addo said there were “other areas of cooperation that we want to undertake – in education and transportation, a direct link between Accra and Georgetown”.

He made those comments as he met with the Ghana Diaspora and local representatives from African 0rganizations at the Marriott Hotel.

Diplomatic relations between Guyana and Ghana were officially established on May 14, 1979.

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US Citizen Charged for Defrauding Caribbean Immigrants in Work Permit and Green Card Scam

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NEW YORK, United States, Wednesday June 12, 2019 – A New York resident has been charged with defrauding immigrants from Jamaica and St Kitts, taking more than US$8,000 from them under the pretense that he could get them green cards and work permits, and then threatening to report them after they asked back for their money.

Brooklyn
District Attorney Eric Gonzalez yesterday announced that James Archibald, 55, has
been charged with grand larceny, scheme to defraud, immigration assistance
services fraud, and related charges, for allegedly stealing US$8,520 from three
undocumented immigrants who hired him to process work permits and green card
applications with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
(USCIS).

“This
defendant is accused of preying on some of the most vulnerable members of our
society who were victimized as they attempted to comply with federal laws,”
Gonzalez said.

Archibald,
a resident of Canarsie, Brooklyn, New York, was arraigned before Brooklyn
Criminal Court Judge Joseph McCormack on a 10-count criminal complaint in which
he is charged with third-degree grand larceny, fourth-degree grand larceny,
first-degree scheme to defraud, first-degree immigration assistance services
fraud, and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property. He was released
without bail and ordered to return to court on August 8th, 2019.

Archibald
faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.

The
District Attorney said that, according to the complaint, between October 2016
and May 2018, the defendant, who was the owner of a company called US Caribbean
and Asian Development Organization, allegedly stole US$8,520 from three undocumented
immigrants who paid him to process and expedite work permit and green card
applications on their behalf with USCIS.

The
victims met the defendant through mutual acquaintances. After receiving the
payments, the victims repeatedly contacted the defendant, but he failed to
provide the promised services and they tried to get their money back. It is
alleged that the defendant told the victims that if they persisted in pursuing
refunds he would report them to USCIS. He also allegedly failed to return the
passports of two victims.

The investigation began in January 2019 after two of the victims filed complaints against Archibald with the District Attorney’s Action Center, which put them in contact with the District Attorney’s Immigrant Affairs Unit.

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Fly to Heathrow Airport with American Airlines!

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Insights from Going Places Travel, the preferred travel agency of American Airlines

American
Airlines offers flights to London Heathrow Airport connecting through Miami
International Airport. The Miami to London Heathrow connection is aboard the
Boeing 777 300 ER, a beautiful aircraft vessel which is the flagship product
from American Airlines. This aircraft boasts completely separate cabins for
each seating category: there is a dedicated restroom for business class which
is separated from Premium Economy and Main Cabin, which also have their own
separate restrooms. All Business class seats have direct aisle access thanks to
the 1-2-1 configuration of the cabin and are all lie-flat seats.

Got a layover? Relax before
the runway.

Make the most of your layover with American’s Admirals Club where you will find everything you need to recharge before your next flight.

In the stylish Admirals Club, you will find meals, house drinks, snacks, made-to-order specialties, fast internet just for Admiral Club members, all the charging outlets you could possibly need, a dedicated ticket desk and arguably best of all, shower suites to get refreshed before the next leg of your journey. The Admiral’s Club also comes equipped comfortable seating including lie-flat chairs for you to rest up while you wait for your flight.

Admirals Club
is available for customers in Qualifying First or Business class, Qualifying
AAdvantage Executive Plantinum, Platinum Pro and Platinum members. However, you
can also purchase an Admirals Club One-Day Pass for $59 USD and get access to
all of its wonderful amenities for that day.

Prefer to shop while you wait for your connecting flight?

Taking the
morning flight to Miami will mean you will have quite a few hours to enjoy
Miami to its maximum before your connecting flight to London. There are many
fantastic shopping options close to the airport but the most popular of them
all is – of course – Dolphin Mall! Miami International Mall is also another
great option which is closer to the airport. If you are interested in
sightseeing, Wynwood Walls is a great location to visit for the best
Instagram-worthy pics.

But bear in
mind that you have to be back at the terminal gate with time to spare before
your connecting flight to ensure you make it in time.

Interested in flying to London with American Airlines? Remember that Going Places Travel is a preferred travel agency of American Airlines, with travel advisors who collectively have over 100 years of combined experience.

Contact your preferred Travel Advisor today at 431-2430.

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