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Last updated: 18 February, 2011 - Published 20:38 GMT
 
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BBC Caribbean News in Brief
 
JFK airport
Caribbean, Canadian and Mexican travellers may soon have to pay US airport levy
Taxing times

It’s about to get more expensive to travel from the Caribbean to the United States.

The US government, looking for ways to put more money in its coffers, is set to begin charging travellers from the Caribbean, Canada and Mexico a new inspection tax.

The charge is expected to be around an additional six dollars on a ticket to enter the country.

But Caribbean-Americans are not happy about the proposed tax.

They say it will be bad for vacationers coming from the region, and also bad for companies in the US who do business with the Caribbean.

The new travel tax is expected to come into effect shortly.

UK warned over cutting student visas

The British government has been told that limiting visas for overseas students would be "a body blow for the British economy".

The government plans to reduce immigration by restricting visas issued to foreign students and raising language requirements.

Many students from the Caribbean study in the UK.

A study by the British Higher Education Policy Institute released Friday says the measures would cut the number of foreign students coming to UK universities, resulting in billions of dollars in losses for the universities and the country.

Foreign teachers sought

The high emigration rate of qualified teachers from Guyana is forcing the country to look abroad for replacements.

The country's cabinet cleared the way for the ministry of education to recruit graduate teachers from overseas.

About 500 teachers graduate each year from teacher training colleges in Guyana.

Most of those who emigrate cite better remuneration and working conditions as their main reasons for leaving.

EU running out of sugar

European sugar supplies are running low and companies are finding it difficult to buy enough of the sweetener for their needs.

So says the German chocolate and confectionery industry association.

Global sugar prices reached a 30-year-high in February on fears about tight global supplies.

A 2006 cut by the EU to the subsidies it pays to its sugar growers also hit sugar producers in the English-speaking Caribbean who had also benefited from the European subsidies.

The German association has warned that the EU's cutback on its sugar subsidies has reduced its own production to about 80 percent of the bloc's needs.

It said the remaining 20 percent needed was to have been covered by imports from less developed nations and former European colonies in the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions..

IMF pleased with DR

The International Monetary Fund's latest assessment of the economy in the Dominican Republic suggests the country is experiencing growth rates far exceeding that of many of its Caribbean neighbours.

After charting figures of nearly 8 per cent last year, the Fund says the country's economy should see growth this year, of at least five percent.

The International Monetary Fund's latest review of the Dominican Republic's economy was to assess how the country has been performing under its standby loan arrangement with the institution.

The Dominican Republic singed a US $1.7 billion dollar loan deal with the IMF in November 2007.

At the time the IMF said the money would help stimulate the economy and lead to robust, sustainable growth.
This latest report suggests the country may be attaining those goals.

The Fund says the Dominican Republic's total economic output, grew by 7.8% last year, while the government was able to keep inflation within target at around 6.2 %.

While the country's economy is not expected to grow to the extent that it did last year, the projection for 2011 is at least 5 % cent.

Stanford fights back

Jailed Texan financier Allen Stanford has filed a lawsuit accusing prosecutors and federal agents of depriving him of his constitutional rights by using abusive law-enforcement tactics.

He is asking for US$7.2 billion in damages.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday comes after Mr Stanford was declared incompetent to stand trial on charges he bilked investors out of $7 billion in a massive Ponzi scheme from his base in Antigua.

The jailed financier is accusing federal agents of using more than $51 million of his own seized money to pay for their investigation.

Mr Stanford and several of his executives have pleaded not guilty to various charges, including money laundering and wire and mail fraud.

His attorneys say he ran a legitimate business and didn't misuse bank funds to pay for a lavish lifestyle, as prosecutors allege.

 
 
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