2004-04-15 / Caribbean Corner

caribbean roundup

caribbean roundup

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua (AP) – West Indies captain Brian Lara set a cricket world record Monday by becoming the first man to score 400 runs in an international match.

The previous record of 380 runs was set by Australia’s Matthew Hayden against Zimbabwe last October.

The 34-year-old Lara passed Hay-den halfway through the third day of a five-day match with England.

Lara had held the record before Hayden after scoring 375 runs 10 years ago.

In cricket, a batsman – comparable to a hitter in baseball – tries to score as many runs as possible over any length of time until the bowler – comparable to a pitcher – or fielder gets him out.

It’s a notable achievement when a batsman reaches 100 runs, called a "century.’’

When Lara passed Hayden’s record, the crowd of more than 12,000, in-cluding England supporters, rose to cheer him as he removed his helmet, jumped and punched the air in celebration.

England’s players gathered around to congratulate him and Baldwin Spen-cer, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, led a small delegation onto the field to shake Lara’s hand.

Lara also holds the record for highest score in a non-international match, getting 501 runs for an English club in 1994. He is just the second man to score 300 or more runs in international cricket twice, joining Australia’s Don Bradman. Bradman scored 334 in 1930 and 304 in 1934.

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (AP) – Trinidad will inject US$10 million (TT$60 million) into BWIA and ex-change US$30 million (TT$180 million) in debt for equity in the latest bailout of the airline, the government said recently.

Trinidad will also provide Eastern Caribbean $17 million (US$6.3 million) in loans to Caribbean governments that hold shares in LIAT airline to assist that cash-strapped carrier.

The debt-for-equity swap could re-sult in Trinidad’s government increasing its 33.5 percent share in BWIA. The government will ask private share-holders to participate in exchanging debt for shares, but may do it alone if they refuse, Trade and Industry Min-ister Ken Valley said.

"I think we’re getting to the test,’’ Valley said. "Either other shareholders will come up or they won’t.’’

The US$10 million (TT$60 million) the government will provide will be used to pay off various debts, Valley said.

BWIA spokesman Clint Williams referred questions to acting CEO Nel-son Tom Yew, who did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) – Police detained 51 Haitian boat mi-grants who arrived in Jamaica in two separate groups recently, officials said.

The first group of 29 landed at Folly Beach in Port Antonio a little after midnight, police Constable Debbie Douglas said.

A second group of 22 Haitians arrived six hours later at the nearby Ken Wright Pier in Port Antonio, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) east of the capital, Kingston, Douglas said.

Local fishermen rescued the mi-grants, who were traveling on rickety boats, officials said. Both groups were comprised of 43 men, three women and five children between the ages of six and 15.

The Haitians did not say what part of the country they left from or why they left, Douglas said.

In total, 301 Haitian migrants have come to Jamaica since a rebellion in February ousted President Jean-Ber-trand Aristide.

The uprising in Haiti has prompted a rise in poverty, lawlessness and re-prisal attacks on supporters of Aristide, who fled Feb. 29 as rebels converged on the Haitian capital.

ANGUILLA, (AP) – Jeremiah Gumbs, a hotel owner who helped electrify public opposition to Britain’s plans for Anguilla and the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean, died Thurs-day. He was 91.

Gumbs addressed the United Nations in 1967, delivering Anguilla’s opposition to a post-colonial proposal that would combine Anguilla, St. Kitts and Nevis into one self-governing state.

"Jeremiah was the father of An-guilla,’’ his son Alan Gumbs told The Associated Press on Sunday. He was everybody’s father, not just mine. His passing is the passing of that generation.’’

Gumbs, like many others on the tiny island, felt they were neglected as a British colony. Gumbs argued their needs wouldn’t be fairly represented according to the new tri-island plan in part because the larger islands of St. Kitts and Nevis are adjacent to each other.

Anguilla, with a total area of 102 square kilometers (40 square miles) and a current population of nearly 13,000 residents, is separated from the two islands by St. Martin, St. Barthel-emy, Saba and St. Eustatius.

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) – Iran’s government has asked Guyana for information on a missing Iranian cleric who was kidnapped last week as he was leaving an Islamic studies center in the South American country’s capital, officials said.

Foreign Minister Rudy Insanally told the Associated Press recently that authorities in Teheran have asked for an official report into the case of Muhammad Hassan Abrahemi.

After firing several shots and disabling a car waiting to take the cleric home, the gunmen grabbed Abrahemi on the night of April 2 outside George-town’s International Islamic College of Advanced Studies.

Insanally said that Iranian Embassy officials in Venezuela have been in constant contact with him in recent days. An emissary from the mission might be soon in Guyana, but it was not clear when, he said.

Police say they are trying to solve the case, but have given no information on possible motives or suspects. The college said it had received no calls or demands for ransom.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) _ Grasping a grimy wad of Haitian gourdes, Wendy Jean runs toward a car, calling out "Thirty-four gourdes to the dollar!’’ The driver slowly pulls out a $100 bill as he argues for a better rate.

Since President Jean-Bertrand Aris-tide was ousted from power Feb. 29, the Western Hemisphere’s weakest economy has sunk to new depths and put the currency on a roller coaster ride. Haitians are suffering the gyrations.

"It should be 36 or more,’’ Jean says of the exchange rate. "That’s what it was yesterday.’’

Haiti’s feeble economy was disrupted by a three-week rebellion that forced Aristide to flee the country. Before U.S. and other foreign troops arrived in early March, many business owners lost their shops in looting. Others closed.

Importers, who use dollars to buy products from the United States, Pan-ama and the neighboring Dominican Republic, slowed their buying.

With little demand for dollars, the gourde soared in mid-March, climbing to 20 per dollar in some places. Within a few days, it dropped back to 40 per dollar.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (AP) – Barbados partially lifted its ban on U.S. beef, the country’s agriculture min-ister said.

Barbados implemented the ban in December along with numerous countries in the region and the world following the discovery of a single case of mad cow disease in Washington state last year.

Agriculture Minister Erskine Grif-fith said the ban was "relaxed after the United States agreed to satisfy all the island’s concerns.’’ However, he did not specify them.

Only boneless U.S. beef from animals less than 30 months old will be allowed to enter the country, Griffith said.

Eating meat from animals with mad cow, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, is thought to cause the fatal human variant, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. How-ever, no cases of the variant have been traced to U.S.

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