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Last updated: 11 January, 2008 - Published 11:28 GMT
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BBC Caribbean News in Brief
Oil refinery for Dominica confirmed

President Hugo Chavez has confirmed that Venezuela will soon begin building an oil refinery in Dominica.

President Chavez confirms Venezuela will build Dominica Refinery

The Venezuelan leader said this would be done as part of his government's efforts towards regional economic integration.

He said the refinery would be used to distribute Venezuelan crude to other islands in the Eastern Caribbean.

Dominica and several other Caricom countries have signed up to Venezuela's energy pact PetroCaribe, that allows them to purchase oil from Caracas on condition of preferential payment.

Barbadian police investigating election violence

Barbadian police are investigating reports of a violent election campaign-related incident, ahead of next Tuesday's general election.

Campaign workers of the ruling Barbados Labour Party told police they were attacked while canvassing in the constituency represented by Prime Minister Owen Arthur.

Mr Arthur who described the incident as unprecedented in Barbadian politics, has appealed to party supporters not to retaliate.

In a separate incident, a University of the West Indies political scientist has confirmed that he reported to police earlier this week that he had received multiple death threats while conducting research at a rally of the governing BLP.

Liat told about shortcomings

Grenadian prime minister Keith Mitchell has reaffirmed his commitment to the success and survival of regional airline Liat.

But Dr Mitchell during discussions with the airline's Chief Executive Officer Mark Darby in St Georges, reiterated that he has serious concerns about the way in which the service is being operated.

The Grenadian leader told Mr Darby that the monopoly arrangement that Liat now enjoys is not necessarily in the best interest of the travelling public.

Liat has purchased the assets of rival Caribbean Star.

Prime Minister Mitchell identified unavailability of flights, the unreliability of services and the sharp increase in fares as the main problems passengers were facing.

Betrayal claims denied

The Vincentian prime minister Ralph Gonsalves has denied claims that he betrayed the teachers of the country through a reclassification exercise being undertaken by the government.

His administration is locked in a dispute with teachers who embarked on two days of protest action this week.

The two-day classroom boycott ended Thursday amid claims that the government had betrayed the teachers because the reclassification had left some of them worse off financially.

But Prime Minister Gonsalves insists that he acted in the best interest of the teachers, and has urged them along with other civil servants and Vincentians in general to comment on the alleged betrayal.

Guyana addressing suicide problem

The health authorities in Guyana say they are working on strategies to combat substance abuse, depression and other mental illnesses.

Alcoholics and drug addicts are among the mentally ill people reported to be roaming the streets of several of the country's towns.

The government says it wants to tackle that problem while also focusing on people who do not outwardly appear to be mentally ill but require treatment.

Health Minister Leslie Ramsammy says figures available show that at least 200 people commit suicide each year in Guyana.

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