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Last updated: 21 November, 2008 - Published 21:51 GMT
 
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BBC Caribbean News in Brief
 
David Thompson
Barbados PM David Thompson has shuffled his cabinet
Barbados prime minister David Thompson has reshuffled his cabinet.

The most significant change is seen as that of the replacement of Chris Sinckler as Foreign Minister.

Prime Minister Thompson has also named has also named Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs, Freundel Stuart, as Deputy Prime Minister.

In a national address on Saturday night Mr Thompson also spoke of 'tougher days ahead', a reference to the impact of the ongoing global financial crisis.

He said the cabinet changes were aimed at helping Barbados "prepare for the worst".

Caricom discusses financial crisis

The impact of the global financial crisis on the region was a key agenda issue during a meeting of the Caricom Bureau in Antigua on Saturday.

The Caricom Scretariat said the meeting was also expected to focus on tourism, oil prices, remittances and foreign direct investment, among other areas.

The Bureau, which comprises the current, incoming and immediate past chairmen of Caricom, oversees the running of the community in between full summits.

Efforts to save tourism jobs

Tourism and finance officials in Saint Lucia were meeting on Friday, to discuss ways of averting mass layoffs in the hospitality sector, in the face of the current global financial crisis.

Earlier this week tourism minister Allen Chastanet who this week warned that massive layoffs were inevitable, if the global crisis continues.

He told the BBC one of the matters discussed was the likelihood of reducing hotel operating costs, by getting the government to invest in the productive sector.

Mr Chastanet also disclosed that hotel owners plan to meet early next month, to come up with other measures to deal with the looming crisis.

Trinidad confirms big shortfall

Trinidad and Tobago is projecting to lose TT$6 billion (about US$1.5b) because of fall in the prices of natural gas, oil and petrochemicals.

These energy products form the bedrock of the country's economy.

The forecast was made by Prime Minister Patrick Manning in an address to the nation on the world economic downturn.

He said the government would have to adjust its budget as a result and he called on the nation to increase productivity.

OECS considers Venezuela request

The OECS is examining a request from Venezuela to join the nine-member grouping.

OECS Director General Len Ishmael confirmed that the application was discussed at the just concluded 48th Meeting of the OECS Authority in Montserrat.

But she said decision makers within the sub-region were yet to determine whether membership should be granted.

LAPD to help T&T with gang crime

The LAPD - the Los Angeles Police Department - is to give the Trinidad and Tobago police a hand in dealing with gangs.

Gang-related crime has mushroomed in the country especially over the past four years.

The police estimate that gang members have been responsible for 375 of the 484 murders so far this year in Trinidad and Tobago.

The government estimates that there are around 500 gang members, many of them engaged in turf wars.

National Security Minister Martin Joseph said the government plans to copy a model used by the LAPD to deal with gang violence in Los Angeles, which he thinks could work in Port of Spain.

 
 
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