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Last updated: 30 July, 2010 - Published 09:09 GMT
 
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BBC Caribbean News in Brief
 
Obesity and the elderly

Elderly people in Latin America and the Caribbean are becoming more likely to suffer from disabilities, thanks to rising obesity rates.

That's according to a paper published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

The study by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston drew on data from a Pan-American Health Organisation survey that covered more than 6,000 people over age 65 in six cities.

They were Bridgetown,Sao Paulo, Brazil, Santiago, Havana, Mexico City and Montevideo.

Bird wants tribunal disbanded

Lester Bird
Mr Bird wants the electoral commission tribunal disbanded

Antigua and Barbuda's Opposition Leader Lester Bird has called on the country's Governor General to disband a tribunal set up to investigate three suspended members of the electoral commission.

The commission, which organises local voting, came under fire for its handling of general elections last year.

Mr Bird has written to Governor General, Dame Louise Lake-Tack, criticising the government over what he said was its inability to serve witness statements on the suspended electoral commission members, five weeks after the tribunal was empanelled.

Three jurists from Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago were appointed to the panel, but since their initial meeting in St John's last month, little has happened.

Lewis says integration derailed by globalisation

A former St Lucian prime minister says Caribbean integration has not kept pace with changes in the international economy.

Dr Vaughan Lewis said the end of trade preferences and the opening up of the world economy had derailed expectations of greater integration.

Dr Lewis told BBC Caribbean that the priority of countries in the region had shifted toward making themselves globally competitive.

Bouterse prepares to take office

Former military strongman Desi Bouterse is continuing his preparations to become the president of Suriname next month.

He has met the outgoing leader, Ronald Venetiann, to ensure that there is a smooth handover of power on 12 August.

The two men are said to be sworn enemies who haven't met for years but protocol dictated that Mr Venetian invited the former dictator for talks.

Parliament in Suriname elected Mr Bouterse, a two-time coup leader, as president last week.

Trinidad IT specialist on internet security team

An IT specialist from Trinidad and Tobago has been selected to safeguard the future of internet security across the world.

Bevil Wooding has been chosen to look after one of seven keys, which will 'restart the world wide web' in the event of a catastrophic event.

Mr Wooding effectively represents the Caribbean and Latin America on the panel.

The other six key holders are from Britain, Burkina Faso, Canada, China, the Czech Republic and the United States.

In the event of a security breach - such as a terrorist attack - five of them may be required to travel to a secure location in the US.

They will meet there to recover the master signing key to reboot the web.

Immunisation for more Haitian children

The United Nations and its partners are aiming to reach an additional 500,000 Haitian children during a second round of post-earthquake emergency immunisations.

The focus this time will be on diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles, rubella and polio

The UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, said more than 275,000 children have been immunised so far against major vaccine preventable diseases.

The agency noted that there are few places in the world today where children are as vulnerable as they are in Haiti.

Hunger striker leaves hospital

A prominent Cuban dissident, Guillermo Fariñas, who recently ended his four-month hunger strike, has been released from hospital.

Mr Fariñas, a journalist and psychologist, began his protest in February to demand the release of imprisoned opposition activists in poor health.

He called off his hunger strike earlier this month following the decision by the Cuban government to free 52 dissidents.

His health had deteriorated considerably and doctors said he was close to death.

 
 
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