Barbados Today Read, Watch, Listen & Discuss Tue, 29 Jul 2014 04:33:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Another party? Tue, 29 Jul 2014 04:33:17 +0000 The time is ripe for a third political force in Barbados, argued one local political strategist today.

However, Reudon Eversley’s assessment did not get the backing of his colleagues Dr George Belle and Peter Wickham, who said the idea still had not taken root.

Reudon Eversley

Reudon Eversley

George Belle

George Belle

Peter wickham

Peter Wickham

In explaining his position, Eversley, who played an integral role in the ruling Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) successful 2008 campaign, led by the late Prime Minister David Thompson, noted that 40 per cent of the electorate had stayed away from the polls at the last general election held on February 21, 2013.

He said this was firm evidence of the growing disenchantment with both the DLP administration and the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), while arguing strongly that Barbadians were now more receptive to the idea of an alternative political party.

“There are Barbadians who will argue that Barbados is a two party country. I do not necessarily buy that,” said Eversley in an interview with Barbados TODAY in which he made reference to failed past efforts at forging a third party on the island.

“Third parties fail for a variety of reasons,” he said, noting that “Sir Richard Haynes’ National Democratic Party, while it showed promise, people saw him as power hungry and they felt that when he broke from the DLP basically he wanted to be Prime Minister”.

He also pointed to Sir Frank Alleyne’s People’ Democratic Party and Eric Sealy’s People’s Pressure Movement, saying “nothing much came out” of either effort.

However, he noted that when the DLP was formed in 1956, it could have been considered a third party, but in five years they were able to form the government, a development which he credits to the late Sir Cameron Tudor.

“Any third party that comes on the scene and is supported by effective political marketing, branding, positioning, all the techniques that have been effectively used to market goods and services can be used for a political party,” he contended.

“ At the end of the day, a political party is providing solutions to needs. When people go to vote, they go to fulfill needs, in the same way that when you go to buy detergent, you buy it to satisfy a need.

“Some people need to accept that the nature of politics has changed. The issue of loyalty to party is disappearing. My generation will probably be the last that will vote consistently to either D or B. Young people today are more inclined to vote for a party based on what it can do for them in terms of meeting their needs. That is the new dynamics not only in Barbados but globally,” the political scientist added.

Following the resignation of former Prime Minister Owen Arthur from the BLP on Friday, Eversley painted a bleak picture of local politics today, saying, “increasingly, as I move around this country, I find Barbadians are becoming more receptive to the idea of a third party.

“They are disappointed with both political parties, but more so the Democratic Labour Party,” said Eversley, who recently severed ties with the DLP.

“I think that if a new party can emerge and it comes with an agenda that can really capture the imagination of Barbadians, especially the middle class, I think it can be a success,” he told Barbados TODAY.

However, reacting to Eversley’s observation, Belle, said: “The history of third parties in Barbados for most of the modern period, but particularly post independence,                  is not good.

“Even if you go back to the 1940s, the last competitive third party would have been Wynter Crawford’s party and then that succumbed by the late 40s and he eventually carried his forces into the Democratic Labour Party when it was formed.

“The problem with a third party is that it is going against the natural division with a population between two major parties. A two party system is defined on that basis. It may sound theoretical, but it is grounded in human behaviour. It is not that you have only two parties, it is that one of two parties is likely to form the next government. That is how a two-party system is defined. Therefore, for a third party to be viable it has to become one of those two parties. Unless you can take the base of one of those parties in place, you are not going to to do it,” Belle added.

Also addressing the possibility of a third party surviving in Barbados, political scientist and pollster Peter Wickham said: “I basically do not agree with the third party talk. While I do agree that 40 per cent of the electorate did not vote in theory, in practice, you appreciate that the voter turnout was a lot higher than it appeared to be.

“The other reality is that in order for a third party to fly, it has to be able to capture a substantially amount of support for it to stay intact and Richie Haynes demonstrated that that was not possible.

“The voter turnout now in Barbados was not the lowest. It has been lower before and the environment was not right for a third party. While I think that it is a great idea, it is likely to do what third parties do across the region – capture 20 per cent of the electorate and 20 per cent is not going to be sufficient to make it work,” Wickham added.


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Caribbean leaders speak on Arthur’s resignation Tue, 29 Jul 2014 04:19:28 +0000 Two Caribbean leaders have expressed surprise at Owen Arthur’s decision to end his 43-year relationship with the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), with one suggesting that he still has more to offer Barbados.

Baldwin Spencer, who was recently removed from office in Antigua and Barbuda after serving two consecutive terms as prime minister, told Barbados TODAY he believed something of a “deeper nature between the current leader and the former leader” must have influenced Arthur’s decision to severe his relationship with the BLP.

Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer

Baldwin Spencer

“I would want to believe it wasn’t an easy decision. I would want to believe that he would have taken some time to reflect upon this and to have come to a conclusion that under the set of circumstances that he would have had to contend with over the past years that this might be the best way to go,” he said.

“I would imagine that this might have been somewhat of a painful decision for someone who has been with that party for over 40 years. It’s not easy to make that kind of break, especially in a situation where you would have served as the longest prime minister under the banner of the BLP, and he would have also led the party in opposition on at least two occasions.”

Last Friday, Arthur handed in a one-line resignation letter to the BLP, an institution he once headed for 17 years. He retains his St Peter seat in Parliament as representative for St Peter, but he will sit as an Independent MP. The former BLP leader, who has been publicly at odds with Mottley, told journalists that the party had lost its direction and its soul.

Spencer said he has not sure whether this could signal “the beginning of the end of his direct political career”.

“Owen Arthur would have made a tremendous contribution to the development of Barbados. He would have influenced the direction which the Caribbean has been going and also defended it and would have supported fully the interest of the Caribbean in the international arena,” he noted.

“I would hope that his decision is one that would be of benefit to Barbados, not so much from the party political stand point, but from what he may be able to inject from where he sits in Parliament, what he may be able to inject . . . to the governance of Barbados and, by extension, what it might signal for the rest of the Caribbean.”

While noting that Arthur and Mottley were a good “tag team” during the BLP’s time in Government, the Antigua and Barbuda official said he was also aware of the friction between the two.

Asked his advice to Arthur and Mottley, Spencer responded: “I would hope that he [Arthur] would use the opportunity to make his contribution both in and outside the Assembly of Barbados in advancing the cause of Barbados and by so doing extend that to the region. I don’t think that it would be any kind of rejoicing on her [Mottley] part. I don’t think this should be reason to create further dissension and further misgivings and disunity within the BLP.”

Meantime, in a short statement to Barbados TODAY on the issue Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis Dr Denzil Douglas said: “It’s difficult to contemplate that former Prime Minister Arthur would leave a party that he has nurtured, a party of which he has been a member for all of these year.”


Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis Dr Denzil Douglas

Douglas said he could not comment any more on the issue in light of ongoing problems within his own St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party.

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NIGHT JAM Tue, 29 Jul 2014 04:11:52 +0000 Veteran entertainers have given thumbs up to the possibility that the Sweet Soca and Party Monarch competitions could become nighttime events from next year.

Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley announced to the media last night, during the National Cultural Foundation-produced Soca Royale at Bushy Park, that the transition may be “necessary and highly possible” given that artistes competing in both competitions have been increasingly incorporating lighting and special effects in their performances.

“I think this is something that we may have to do . . . Two years ago we moved one aspect of the competition into the night and one of the things that we may very well contemplate is putting both of the competitions during the night time and that is something that we may have to consult with our stakeholders about,” the minister said.

Stetson Red Plastic Bag Wiltshire, Ronnie De Announcer Clarke, Anderson Blood Armstrong and Mac Fingall told Barbados TODAY they were in full support of any such move.

Wiltshire, who placed second in this year’s Sweet Soca competition said he was extremely happy to hear the minister talking about heading in that direction since he has been lobbying for that for the past three years.

“I have been saying for some time now that both competitions must be held in the night”.

In addition to providing more of a show for spectators, since lighting plays a vital role in both competitions, Wiltshire pointed out that the heat during the day is also a disadvantage for day performances since it saps the energy of both performers and patrons.

“When you are back there in the tent as a performer, it is extremely hot and draining and by time you are ready to go on stage you would have perspired and perspired and perspired and most of your energy is gone, and it is just not good for a performer,” the former monarch said.

“I know security is also going to be an issue, but I think that as a people we have been very well behaved and the forces have done an excellent job over the years and they can do it in the night as well,” he added as he expressed the hope that discussion would move to approval and implementation.

Meantime, Wiltshire insisted that any idea of giving the Party Monarch aspect of the competition more attention than the Sweet Soca should be discarded.

“It is a mistake,” he said. “To me the music that is going to take our music forward is going to be the Sweet Soca songs and we need to stop treating the  competition as being secondary to the Party Monarch.”

In giving his support to the idea, Blood also referred to performers and patrons benefitting from the grand spectacle of fireworks and lights illuminating the sky in the darkness of night.

“From a performer’s point of view it is not going to be a bad move,” he said. “But I don’t know how they are going to market it as a family day.”

Clarke, although agreeing to the move that he said would follow the tradition in the region of major events being held at night, also noted that it might no longer appeal to families because of the late hours.

“So you have to take those things into consideration. But without doubt I can visualize . . . what the competition that we saw yesterday would have been like if it had been held at night, especially when you look at how some of the artistes in the Party Monarch competition would have pulled out all the stops out in terms of their visuals and other elements of presentations,” said the calypsonian whose brother Rupert Rupee Clarke has been a finalist in previous Party Monarch competitions.

Fingall, who is usually Master of Ceremonies for Soca Royale, also believes there should be flexibility in the “order” of the competitions, giving whichever is deemed more exciting second position.

As for concerns that a later show would affect Soca Royale’s billing as a family event, Fingall said he saw nothing wrong with children being out at night to witness the competitions.

“Bring them out at night; they got to understand night life too. We are not going to be there until all past midnight or nothing. Both shows last about an hour and a half maximum. So let us say three hours with a little half hour break in between, we could finish that show in four hours. Even if we start at 7 o’clock, that should be finished by 11,” he said.

“It is just a matter of getting people out of there and that place is set up in such a way that there is a back gate that can be used to alleviate the flow. And you just need to get a little more lighting and put security in place and everything will be safe. You got to think about the good and just protect against the bad.”

This year, the Sweet Soca competition started at 4:30 pm, while the Party Monarch got underway at 7 pm.

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Clarity promised Tue, 29 Jul 2014 02:45:04 +0000 Amidst Opposition warnings that the tertiary education of thousands of Barbadians remains in jeopardy, the Ministry of Education is today promising clarity on the issue.

In a statement issued today, Shadow Minister of Education, Edmund Hinkson said the Government continues to break its promises to put adequate financing arrangements in place for students who need assistance paying tuition fees at the University of the West Indies.

But Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Laurie King informed Barbados TODAY this afternoon that the relevant information would be made available to the country by tomorrow. King declined to say any more on the matter.

However, a brief statement from the Government Information Service (GIS) this evening indicated that application forms for bursaries will be available from tomorrow at the Examinations Section of the ministry.

Minister Ronald Jones was unavailable for comment.

Minister of Education Ronald Jones.

Minister of Education Ronald Jones.

In his statement, though, Hinkson said: “The latest episode of this woeful saga is the failure by Education Minister Ronald Jones to ensure that his ministry is in a position to process applications for the 3,000 bursaries which he, on the 11th of this month, stated would be launched in two weeks’ time to help those financially challenged citizens who were already attending one of the three UWI campuses who wished to enter for the first time.”

The Opposition spokesman on education noted that on that occasion, Jones revealed that the bursary arrangements had already been agreed to, and that he was clearing up some of the “noise and mischief” circulating on the matter of paying tuition fees.

“However, both current and potential students of our three campuses continue to be clueless as to how they can even apply for a bursary,” he added.

Hinkson claimed that there are was no announcement of criteria or how the process for the selection of recipients would be conducted.

Additionally, the MP said, no indication had been given about who would be entitled to full bursaries, partial bursaries, how many of the declared 3,000 bursaries would be given in this coming academic year and to which faculty’s students.

“We do not know whether persons with disabilities and others who make up the most vulnerable segment of our society would be given preference in applying. We do not know whether potential students need to first apply for a loan before they can be eligible for a bursary,” the Opposition MP for St James North observed.

He said it was not known whether the selection process would be saddled with political considerations, with supporters of the governing party as well as relatives and friends of ruling Democratic Labour Party politicians having a distinct advantage in accessing these bursaries.

“I myself, incognito, contacted the Education Ministry last Friday and could obtain no response from any official on any of these queries. Has Minister Jones, under public pressure in yet another knee-jerk response . . . proclaimed an initiative without the finances being in place to fund it?” he asked.

“This political administration has created so much uncertainty over the funding by students of their tuition fees, whether on the issue of the student revolving loan funding, Government granted bursaries and otherwise, that over 40 per cent of the present students are today uncertain about whether they will be able to continue their courses,” Hinkson claimed.

The Shadow Minister of Education also suggested that there was now a 50 per cent decline in new applications to enter the UWI for the first time.

Registration for the new academic year will begin in three weeks.

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Conference to focus on development Tue, 29 Jul 2014 02:32:21 +0000 The contribution of Barbadians living overseas to the economic development of the country will be the focus of the third Barbados Network Consultation (BNC) that will be opened by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart on August 5 at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

The central goal of the conference is to encourage and facilitate the contribution of the diaspora to the social and economic development of Barbados.

Local entrepreneurs will have an opportunity to display and promote their goods and services, with the aim of targeting possible export markets.

Over three days, about 250 Barbadians, their descendants and friends of Barbados, at home and abroad, will participate in seminars, workshop and panel discussions, centred around the theme One Nation, One Family – Building Pathways To Prosperity And Development.

A highlight of this year’s consultation will be the Cabinet-Diaspora Interactive Session on August 5 at 10:45 a.m., during which Prime Minister Stuart and other members of his Cabinet will be on hand to speak and respond to questions regarding their respective portfolios.

The consultation has enabled Diaspora relations to secure a critical place and space in the country’s foreign policy agenda, along with the traditional issues such as CARICOM ties, environmental issues, trade, security and human rights.

Among those scheduled to attend are chief executive officer of the Barbados Private Sector Association Anne Reid, Ancestry Expert Sandra Eaddy, chief archivist David Williams, president of the Barbados Film and Video Association Inc. Lynette Eastmond, author of The Silver Men:West Indian Labour Migration To Panama, 1850-1914, Professor Velma Newton, and head of the Task Force for the Preservation of Barbados’ Built Heritage Professor Henry Fraser.

The consultation coincides with the centennial celebrations of the opening of the Panama Canal, which 60,000 Barbadians helped construct.

Among the events of the BNC to commemorate this important milestone are: screening of the teaser for the documentary, Panama Fever; signing of a Sister Port Agreement between Barbados Port Inc and Manzanillo International Terminal; the Panama Canal Centennial Stamp issue; and a panel discussion with Professor Newton, a representative of the Government of Panama, Panamanian of Barbadian descent, Sheila Wilkinson and Manzanillo International Terminal representative Carlos Urriola.

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Best’s strokes Tue, 29 Jul 2014 02:01:44 +0000 In the face of the controversy surrounding St Lucia Zouks’ fast bowler Tino Best after a reported altercation between him and Barbados Tridents captain Kieron Pollard, Best says he is focused on his cricket.

Last Thursday after the Caribbean Premier League match between Barbados Tridents and the Zouks, Best reportedly returned to the players’ hotel, Hilton Barbados, where there was an exchange between the Barbadian cricketer and Pollard. Pollard and Best are alleged to have engaged in a verbal altercation which escalated into a physical confrontation.

However, speaking exclusively to Barbados TODAY this morning at the Grantley Adams International Airport as he prepared to fly out to
St Lucia for that leg of the CPL tournament, Best said he had moved on from the incident and was fully concentrated on bowling fast, taking wickets and winning matches. Not wanting to speak specifically on the alleged incident Best noted that the rumours circulating were not gospel.

Tino Best

“If they crucified Him, then who am I,” says Tino Best.

Furthermore, he stressed he was disappointed that Barbadians could be so “gullible” and took pleasure out of the said rumours rather than to support him – one
of their own. Suggestions coming from sources at the Hilton and via social media are that Best was beaten after arming himself with a piece of wood.

“We in Barbados we take things and run with them, we don’t know the story, we are a malicious people and we always like to hear things and believe that they are gospel. Look how the Jamaicans does stand up for each other, St Lucians stand up for each other. From the time that Barbadians get an opportunity to grind you, they will go ahead. We support everybody that isn’t a Barbadian and that is the problem, we need to support we own.”

Nevertheless, the aggressive right-arm bowler said this lack of support from Barbadians would not cause him to give up on his dreams to be successful. In fact, he said they don’t even faze him since he was accustomed to Barbadians criticizing his every move. And he believes that the more he continues to achieve in life, the more people will hate him.

“I come from a poor family in Richmond Gap, I live in Haynesville in a Government house. When I started playing cricket people would always criticise me, ‘Tino Best he this or he that’. I don’t care, I was poor just like everybody else and I use my talents to get what I have and now I got things people are still going to criticise and be happy when rumours are spread about me,” the 32-year-old lamented.

“God gives us all a talent to go out there and pursue anything we dream of. I pursued cricket, cricket has done very good for me and my close family. People would see you living a certain way in life and they don’t like it. The first thing people would say in Barbados is: ‘Oh, he lucky he playing cricket’. I never hear nobody say: ‘He work real hard for what he got’. And then they want to call me arrogant but what is arrogance? Because you build a nice house or you have a nice car. I am very good-looking, I always attract beautiful women. Is that being arrogant? Seriously? If somebody is confident and they love themselves, they are being arrogant.

“I am a very confident person and I will never change. I will always be confident. I will always stand up to anybody that is bashing me and I am not a person who will suck up to people. If in life people say I have a bad attitude, I’m a bad person, let them get to know me. People that know me love me and are the majority, those who don’t like me are in the minority. Once you are in the public’s eye, believe in yourself and are always confident, people are not going to like you because we as Barbadians find it easier to critise.

“Me, I don’t mind people saying anything negative about me. Not that I comparing myself to Jesus Christ, but Jesus Christ had love in his heart and they crucified him, they chose a murderer and a rapist over a man that come with love in his heart, so who is me? I don’t have anything that nobody else don’t have or never work hard in them life for but because I am Tino Best and I play my cricket hard . . . .”

Best was of the opinion that if he were not a cricketer or in the limelight, no one would care what he was involved in and he was adamant that as long as his family loved him and his son respected him he would be happy.

“. . . My pot don’t stir at nobody, it does stir at me. I don’t care what people think about me, I don’t care what they say about me, I don’t lose any sleep over them. I know the truth, my family know the truth and I done with that. They don’t faze me, I got God and at least I had the [testicular fortitude] determination and will power to pursue my dreams.

“My dream was to play international cricket and be a professional cricketer. I did that so it means I am a winner, I am a success story. As long as I can play the game and enjoy it I will be cool. I am a very loved individual. Half the world going love you, the other half going hate you. So who cares? I don’t care,” he added.

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Jones pulls out Tue, 29 Jul 2014 01:24:21 +0000 Barbados’ Akela Jones was a non-starter in the final of the high jump at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon, last night.

Akela Jones opted out of the high jump last night.

Akela Jones opted out of the high jump last night.

Jones, who had met the qualifying standard for the final from 29 other entrants, is believed to have been nursing an injury. She had last week won the long jump gold medal but opted not to jump at the last minute yesterday.

Great Britain’s Morgan Lake made good on her second shot at world junior gold, clearing the high bar at 1.93m to secure the victory and a second title four days after her heptathlon triumph on Wednesday.

Of the four women who attempted 1.91m, Lake and the Czech Republic’s Michaela Hruba were the only ones to clear it, Lake on her first attempt and Hruba on her third. It was a Czech junior record for 16-year-old Hruba.

Lake, whose heptathlon high jump clearance was 1.94m, went on to make three attempts at 1.97m, which would have been a national senior record had she achieved it.

Bronze went to Russia’s Irina Ilieva at 1.88m. Rachel McCoy of the USA also cleared 1.88m but had one more miss at 1.85m, so she finished fourth behind Ilieva.

Lake was the first and only double gold medallist in individual events.

Meanwhile championship records from US hurdler Kendell Williams and Cuban triple jumper Lazaro Martinez provided the highlights of the final day yesterday.

Williams overhauled her compatriot Dior Hall off the last barrier of a thrilling race to win the 100m hurdles in a championship record of 12.89, equalling the fifth-fastest junior time ever and just 0.05 away from the world junior record of 12.84, which has been on the books since 1987 in the name of Cuba’s Aliuska Lopez.

Hall had a superb start and led for nine of the ten hurdles but had to settle for second, albeit in a personal best  of 12.92.

Martinez, amazingly still only 16 but already a seasoned veteran in some respects after three appearances in the IAAF Diamond League this summer, confirmed his pre-competition status as the favourite and reinforced his country’s excellence in the triple jump.

Martinez was on fire from his opening jump, landing at a championship record of 17.08m, four centimetres farther than his countryman Yoelbi Quesada’s mark set in 1992.

He sealed his victory with 17.13m, another championship record, in the following round.

After a foul with his next attempt and passes in the fourth and fifth rounds, he ended his series with a valedictory 16.39m.

Germany’s Max Hess finished second with a personal best of 16.55m in the second round but was more than half a metre behind the classy Cuban.

The two middle-distance gold medals went to a pair of athletes who were prohibitive favourites.

After leading the field through 400m in a phenomenally fast 49.42, Kenya’s 17-year-old Alfred Kipketer showed the rest of the field a clean pair of heels over the second leg to win in a world junior leading 1:43.95, just 0.16 away from the championship best of 1:43.79 set by Botswana’s Nijel Amos in Barcelona two years ago.

Second was another Kenyan, Joshua Masikonde, in 1:45.14 and the first seven men home all registered personal best times.

Dawit Seyaum, the only junior this year to have run faster than four minutes, front-ran her way to gold in the women’s 1500m with equal authority.

She was in the lead at the 800m mark, passed in 2:17.13, and despite being occasionally challenged by her compatriot Gudaf Tsegay over the last two laps, Seyaum never looked seriously threatened and won in 4:09.86.

Tsegay was just under a second behind in 4:10.83 and took the silver medal.

However, not every event went according to form yesterday.

Barnabas Kipyego turned the tables on his more highly rated compatriot Titus Kibiego, the Kenyan trials winner, in the men’s 3000m steeplechase and sprinted away from his team-mate down the home straight to win in 8:25.57 with Kibiego second in 8:26.15.

Latvian javelin thrower Gatis Cakss caused the biggest surprise of the final day.

Lying down in fifth place, and ranked only eighth in the world ahead of the final, Cakss hurled his last attempt out to 74.04m to move into pole position and none of the four men left to throw could respond, including Slovenia’s Matija Muhar, the 2014 world junior leader with 75.38m.

Muhar had to settle for second with 72.97m, which he threw in the second round, and fouled the very last throw of the competition in his last-gasp bid to retain the lead.

As is traditional at major international championships, the curtain came down with the 4x400m relays.

For the seventh consecutive championships, the US women won their event coming home in a 2014 world junior-leading time of 3:30.42.

Shamier Little, the 400m hurdles champion, took the first leg and got to the exchange first. Olivia Baker on the second leg got to the break in front and barring accidents, that was almost the end of the show.

However, there were no stumbles or dropped batons to open the door to any of the US quartet’s rivals.

Shakima Wimbley and individual 400m champion Kendall Baisden combined to come home comfortably ahead of silver medallists Great Britain.

The US men won the very last of the 44 gold medals on offer across the six days in a similar commanding fashion in 3:03.31.

Josephus Lyles put the US squad in front on the first leg and the men that followed – Tyler Brown, Rick Morgan and Michael Cherry – didn’t relinquish that lead.

After six days of the championships, the host nation was a clear leader in the medal tables with 11 gold medals, five silver and five bronze for a total of 21 medals. It was the most medals they had ever won and just one shy of the best ever medal haul at the World Junior Championships, 22 from the USSR in 1988.

Distance running powerhouse Kenya finished second with four gold medals and 16 medals in total.

Overall 21 different national anthems were heard in Hayward Field since the start of the championships and 40 IAAF member federations had athletes stand on the medal podium.


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Clapham take Division One title Tue, 29 Jul 2014 01:07:58 +0000 Clapham Bulls are the 2014 Barbados Amateur Basketball Association’s Division One champions after defeating Patriots 65-46 in game three at the YMCA
on Saturday.

One might have thought that the heavens were watching the epic event due to brief, strategic showers that fell before the game and at the closing of every quarter. Well if the heavens were paying attention it would stand to reason the referee also should have been but several questionable calls had many at the YMCA up in arms and questioning the rules of the game.

The battle began at 8:45 p.m. with Bull’s Mark Leacock opening the scoring with two points followed by Mark Foster getting on the scoresheet. Patriots’ Julian Walcott led the early offence for his side putting up four points in the first quarter. The pace was slow as the Bulls ended the first quarter with a 14-7 advantage.

The youthful Patriots came back in the second quarter to outscore the Bulls, tallying 16 points to the Bulls’ 13. Turnovers due to bad passes were a feature of the second and third periods and contributed significantly to the Bull’s outscoring the patriots, if only by two points, 13-11, before the rain threatened to bring the game to a premature end. Bulls’ Damien Jones and Patriots’ Omari Jackson provided the energy for their respective teams during the subsequent exchanges in the third period.

Jackson was in good touch with a two-pointer, a three-point shot and one out of two from the line. Jones’ response was a three pointer from the left.

In the final period, Jones continued to rain threes which motivated his team while Mark Leacock made his presence felt with ten vital points. Guard Rahiim Gibbons contributed with a three pointer from the top of the arch which basically nailed the coffin for Patriots, even though Jackson and Jehnard Brewster continued their efforts to keep the Patriots in the game. Bull’s endurance showed as they outscored the Patriots 25 points to 12 in the final quarter.

Leacock finished with 20 points, Gibbons 12 and Jones 11. Jackson and Brewster had nine points each for Patriots.

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Bajans cop 38 medals Tue, 29 Jul 2014 01:04:41 +0000 Barbados amassed 38 medals at the 2014 Caribbean Union Of Teachers Games held over the weekend at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Trinidad and Tobago at the 15th Biennial Athletics Championships.

Barbados, the champions from 2012, won eight gold medals, 17 silvers and 13 bronzes.

Representing Barbados in the Under-9 division was Shelanie Augustin who won the girls’ cricket ball with a throw of 34.38m, Skye Spencer-Layne came third in the Under-9 girls’ 80m dash in a time of 11.99. Iyobosa Iyare reaped success in the Under-9 boys’ division when he came second in the long jump event with 4.07 and third in the 80 metres dash in a time of 11.68.

In the Under-9 girls’ 4×100 metre relay, the team comprised of Samiya Dell, who ran the first leg, followed by Kelescia Downes, Briana Baird and anchored home by Skye Spencer-Layne for third in 1:00.15. Jamaica came first in a time of 57.32 followed by Trinidad and Tobago for second in a time of 59.02. The boys, however, came second just behind Jamaica who ran 55.33. Jaleel Grosvenor ran the first leg to Tevin Brathwaite who handed over the baton to Jaquan Pilgrim and Iyobosa Iyare finished the race in 57.22 to keep the home team’s hopes alive.

Malachi Harris dominated the Under-11 division at the National Primary School Athletics Championships (NPSAC) this year and going overseas to compete was no different. Harris was victorious in the cricket ball throw with a distance of 60.48m on his second attempt, on the track he clocked a time of 43.59 to win the Under-11 boys 300m, in the 200m dash the Stadium Bully as they call him at home, ran 27.43 to place second just behind Yourie Lawrence who ran 27.19 while in the 100m he came third in 27.43.

Talitha Bartlett ran 13.72 to place second behind Tia Clayton of Jamaica who clocked 13.56. Akeza Pollard came third in the Under-11 girls’ 300m in 46.94 which was won by Brianna Lyston in 42.41. Shahada Headley earned herself a bronze with a throw of 42.76m in the under-11 girls cricket ball throw. Jannillea Glasgow won gold with her throw of 49.63m.

The Under-13 girl’s 100m was a very close race between home girl Jaliyah Denny who ran 12.66 for second while Caliyah Wallace of Trinidad and Tobago was first in 12.65. In the boys, Darian Clarke had to settle for bronze in 12.63 after Anthony Haslam ran 11.60 to continue Jamaica’s dominance.

Nicholas Grimes won gold in the shot put in 12.32 and was second in the Under-13 boys’ cricket ball throw with 73.38m after Haslam threw 76.28 to add another medal to his name.

Samuel Alkins clocked 57.72 for third in the Under-13 boys 400m which was comfortably won by Ethan Forde of Trinidad and Tobago in 55.48.

Shonita Broome produced gold in the Under-15 girls’ long jump with a leap of 5.05m. While in the boys 400m in that same division Tremaine Smith clocked 11.09 for second just behind Jamaica Tyreke Wilson who came first in 10.96 while in the 200m Smith was second in 22.88. Ashlee Lowe was third in the 200m dash in 25.71 ahead of Kiara Grant who ran 25.20 representing Jamaica.

Barbados came second in the Under-11 girls’ 4x100m relay and third in the boys. In the Under-13 girls and boys 4x100m, the home team had to settle for third. The Under-15 results were better as the girls won their 4x100m relay in 49.34 and the boys came second in the 4x100m in 43.89.

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Ms Mottley’s back against the wall? Tue, 29 Jul 2014 00:52:10 +0000 Two recents statements by Prime Minister Freundel Stuart this past weekend are worthy of public record. The first was in reaction to Owen Arthur’s sudden resignation from the Barbados Labour Party (BLP), and the next to the BLP Leader Mia Mottley’s “white march” last Thursday.

For Mr Stuart, Mr Arthur’s resignation from the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) after 43 years came as no surprise. Neither too, we must add, was Mr Stuart’s equally sudden recovery from the apathy that seems to beset him at times, keeping him mum on important national issues.

In an almost immediate response to Friday’s move by Mr Arthur, Mr Stuart, who has been noticeably absent from the recent debate on the Municipal Solid Waste Tax, as well as that to do with Moody’s latest negative report on Barbados’ economic performance, sought to make use of the bitter Arthur-Mottley split for all its worth politically.

In the full glare of the public, Mr Arthur called it quits last Friday, telling whoever would listen that his departure was not on account of old age, as some would have preferred him to say, but due the fact that, in his eyes, his beloved party, with which he had spent 43 years, had lost its way.

It was a big slap in face to Mottley and the BLP.

On this occasion, Mr Stuart didn’t even stop to clear his throat. Though still not fast enough to beat his media savvy Minister of Commerce to the microphone, Mr Stuart would follow closely behind in extending a hand of support to one of his greatest political foes –– Owen Arthur –– who though obviously pained and conflicted, would have seen the offer for what it was, and therefore has said enough this past weekend to indicate to Mr Stuart and indeed the entire DLP, thanks but no thanks, as he prepares to make his own “Independent” bed, so to speak.

But even if Mr Arthur was contemplating crossing the floor to join forces with the ruling DLP –– as incredible as that all seems –– we believe he would have been left with more than a second thought after hearing for himself the presentation of Mr Stuart’s offer, coloured as it was in his usual cunning and guile.

Citing a historical example of a sitting BLP Member of Parliament –– at the time representing what is now Mr Arthur’s constituency of St Peter –– resigning to cross the floor and join the then governing DLP led by Errol Barrow, a visible tickled Stuart suggested Mr Arthur was now free to follow the example of history.

“Sooner or later, Members of Parliament get to realize that the Barbados Labour Party is not the place to be . . . . If Mr Arthur has now got to the stage of this realization, I am glad for him . . . . I’m glad that he has seen the light; the light was there ever since,” the Prime Minister quipped.

In much the same way, Mr Stuart was dismissive of Ms Mottley’s march, pointing out that the Opposition Leader had managed to secure more votes in the last election that she was able to muster in terms of participation for last week’s demonstration.

But that thousands of Barbadians –– whether it be 3,000 or 5,000, as the Opposition and its publicists are claiming –– saw it fit to march in solidarity against the Government’s onerous tax, should be of concern to our dear Prime Minister.

Indeed, the total number of marchers cannot and should not be confused with the sum of concerns levelled over the controversial tax.

Instead of going the politically expedient route of pouring cold water on a demonstration that was meant to give public voice to those disadvantaged by the tax, we believe a more caring response was in order from our leader, who while he is at it, might even do Ms Mottley the courtesy of breaking with protocol on this occasion and walking over to his permanent secretary’s office for a read of her correspondence on the Solid Waste Tax.

It certainly does no one any good for the Prime Minister to persist with his public boast that he hasn’t even seen her letter as yet, while acknowledging that the letter from the Leader of the Opposition is in his reach.

With the country so delicately poised politically, Mr Stuart needs only to cast his mind back a little to recent problems in his own camp.

As they say a day in politics is a long time. Today Ms Mottley’s back may be against the wall, but tomorrow his may well be. Mr Stuart also knows only too well that today’s governing politicians will be tomorrow’s Opposition.


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