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Last updated: 18 January, 2011 - Published 09:16 GMT
 
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BBC Caribbean News in Brief
 
Jean-Claude Duvalier
Jean-Claude Duvalier has been living in exile in France for 25 years
Angry reaction

Haitian-Americans have been expressing outrage at the return of former president Jean-Claude Baby Doc Duvalier.

Haitians living in the US say Mr Duvalier's regime was responsible for widespread killings and human rights abuses.

The director of the group Haitian Women of Miami, Marleine Bastien, said she could not believe the announcement that Jean-Claude Duvalier was in Haiti and thought at first that it was a bad joke.

She and others are demanding that he be held accountable for "all the human rights abuses and violations, all the murders that he committed".

Another 79-year-old refugee who fled Haiti in the 1970s said he was very angry at Baby Doc's return.

And Jean-Robert Fortune, who heads Miami's Haitian American Grassroots Coalition, said Haitians were in shock, knowing that "Baby Doc Duvalier, like a ghost, has come back to Haiti".

Rights groups target Baby Doc

Former dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier has been spending his first full day back in Haiti, after a stunning return to the country on Sunday after 25 years in exile.

International human rights groups have called for the prosecution of the former Haitian leader.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, said Mr Duvalier should be held accountable for the alleged torture and killing of thousands of people during his 15 year rule.

UK foreign officials begin visit

A British Foreign Office Minister is visiting Barbados as part of a wider Caribbean visit that includes Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica.

During his trip to Bridgetown, Jeremy Browne will meet government ministers and UK businesses from the tourism sector based in Barbados.

It is likely that the issue of UK air passenger duty tax will come up in those meetings.

Nearly 340,000 British tourists visited Barbados in 2010, according to a UK government statement.

Barbados added to US work visa list

Barbados is among 15 countries added to a list eligible to participate in two United States foreign workers programmes known and H2A and H2B.

They allow American employers to bring foreign nationals to the US, to fill temporary agricultural and non-farm jobs.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services said the eligibility takes effect from Tuesday.

Jamaica, Belize and the Dominican Republic are among the 53 nations approved under both programmes.

Ackee preparation warning

Jamaica has issued a new warning to the public, to take care when they prepare the popular but potentially deadly ackee fruit, following an increase in poisoning cases.

Health Minister, Rudyard Spencer said in a weekend statement that 35 people have fallen ill since last month, after eating un-ripened ackees, the country's national fruit.

The red-skinned fruit with golden flesh produces a compound known as hypoglycin that can reach dangerous levels when it is picked too early and is not ripe.

The toxin can cause a drop in blood sugar and vomiting, and, in rare cases, death.

Mr Spencer said that all of the poisoning cases involved ackees cooked at home.

AIDS treatment programme under threat

The head of the World Health Organisation says funding shortfalls are threatening the progress that has been made in combating diseases around the world.

Dr Margaret Chan said achievements in public health were made last year, including the launch of a new affordable meningitis vaccine developed in record time.

But Dr Chan expressed concern about the possible impact of the global financial crisis and economic downturn on public health.

She said AIDS and tuberculosis treatment programmes were some of the key areas under threat by shortfall in funding.

iPhone thieves charged with blackmail

Police in the US Virgin Islands say they have charged 3 people with blackmail after they allegedly threatened to expose personal information contained on a lost iPhone.

A release from the police said the owner of the phone told officers that he lost the phone on Boxing Day and last week began receiving e-mails with the threats.

He was further told that he could get his phone back if he paid $1,000.

 
 
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