Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 4th 2016 Contents PROVIDENCIALES---A High Court judge in the Turks
and Caicos Islands has dismissed the mistrial applica-
tion made by the lawyer for former premier Michael
Misick who is facing corruption charges.
Queen's Counsel Ralph Thorne had argued that the
prosecution had issued daily releases which had the cu-
mulative effect of scandalising his client, portraying him
contemptuously and ultimately de-
priving him of the right to a fair
trial that is guaranteed by the Con-
stitution and by the Human Rights
The Barbadian attorney and
Malcolm Bishop, QC, who is repre-
senting the former premier's
brother, Chal Misick, had asked the
court to declare a mistrial on the
grounds that extra-juridical publications, emanating
from the prosecution and from a corporate entity con-
nected to the evidence, Sandals Resorts
International/Beaches Resorts, were capable of under-
mining the independence of the judiciary and the dig-
nity of the process of trial.
But Justice Paul Harrison disagreed.
"As the trial of fact in this case, I am obliged, and have
a duty, to disabuse my mind from anything said or pub-
lished outside of the ambit of court proceedings. I am
also compelled not to take into consideration anything
said outside the evidence in this case," he said.
Misick and other former government ministers and
their associates are facing charges of conspiracy to ac-
cept bribes in public office, conspiracy to defraud and
associated money laundering, brought by a special in-
vestigative team set up in the Turks and Caicos Islands
in 2011. (Caribbean360)
North Korea has escalated its propaganda
war with South Korea by sending balloons
packed with used toilet paper into the coun-
The bizarre balloons were sent into the de-
militarised zone between the two countries,
and were also discovered to contain cigarette
butts and tissue paper.
South Korean authorities initially feared a
biochemical attack as the balloons sailed to-
wards their territory.
"When we opened up a bundle that had
dropped on the ground, we found plastic
bags filled with leaflets and mixed with
trash," a military official told the JoongAng
"We were concerned that North Korea
could have sent biochemical substances to
harm our people, but after analysing the con-
tents it was just trash."
An unnamed police officer revealed that "in
some of the bundles, there were cigarette
butts, tissues and daily waste."
The move raised tensions in the already
fragile relationship between the two coun-
tries, reported The Telegraph.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Park
Geun-hye, the South Korean leader, have
both been accused of heightening tensions
on the peninsula. The countries have threat-
ened each other with war in the past.
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
South Korea gets toilet paper treatment
DALLAS---Health officials say a
person in Texas has become infect-
ed with the Zika virus through sex,
in the first case of the illness being
transmitted within the United
States amid the current outbreak
in Latin America.
The unidentified person had not
traveled but had sex with a person
who had returned from Venezuela
and fallen ill with Zika, Dallas
County health officials said Tues-
day. The US Centers for Disease
Control issued a statement saying
lab tests confirmed the non-trav-
eler was infected with Zika.
The virus, which has been linked
to birth defects in the Americas,
is primarily spread through mos-
quito bites, but investigators had
been exploring the possibility it
could be sexually transmitted.
There was a report of a Colorado
researcher who picked up the virus
in Africa and apparently spread it
to his wife back home in 2008,
and it was found in one man s
semen in Tahiti.
"It s very rare, but this is not
new," Zachary Thompson, director
of the Dallas County Health and
Human Services, told WFAA-TV
The CDC said it will issue guid-
ance in the coming days on pre-
vention of sexual transmission of
Zika virus, focusing on the male
sexual partners of women who are
or may be pregnant.
The World Health Organization
on Monday declared a global
emergency over the rapidly
spreading Zika virus, saying it is
an "extraordinary event" that
poses a threat to the rest of the
world. The declaration was made
after an emergency meeting of
independent experts called in
response to a spike in babies born
with brain defects and abnormally
small heads in Brazil since the
virus was first found there last
While Thompson told the tel-
evision station that the case of
sexual transmission is "a game-
changer," he added that he didn t
want people in Dallas County to
SAO PAULO---A two-hour strike yesterday by airline
staff across Brazil grounded hundreds of flights,
paralysing travel in Latin America s biggest country
ahead of Carnival season s biggest parties.
The brief strike forced 408 delays and 138 cancel-
lations out of 798 flights, the state-run airports admin-
istrator Infraero said.
Pilots are seeking higher salaries to compensate for
inflation, which now tops 10 per cent, the Air Workers
Union said. The union is demanding an 11 per cent
Domestic flights took the brunt of the stoppage,
which came as Carnival parties around the country
gather pace, with Rio staging its famous parades in
the Sambadrome starting Sunday.
Twelve airports took part in the strike, including
the Galeao and smaller Santos Dumont in Rio de
Janeiro, the capital Brasilia, and the country s biggest
airport, Guarulhos in Sao Paulo.
The airlines union accused management of "taking
advantage of the crisis atmosphere in the country to
justify a proposal that, if accepted, would represent
the biggest salary loss for any union in the country."
Affected airlines are offering passengers compen-
sation and re-bookings. (AFP)
Former premier mistrial
MONTEVIDEO---South American health min-
isters launched emergency talks yesterday on
fighting the fast-spreading Zika outbreak after
a US case of sexual transmission of the virus,
which has been blamed for brain damage in
Ministers from 13 countries including the
two reportedly worst affected, Brazil and
Colombia, gathered in Uruguay to coordinate
their fight against the mosquito-borne illness
which authorities fear may spread worldwide.
Arriving at the meeting in Montevideo,
Brazil s Health Minister Marcelo Castro told
reporters his country had deployed 522,000
personnel to prevent infections by cleaning
up and advising the population.
He called it "the biggest effort in Brazil s
Brazil has reported 1.5 million cases of infec-
tion by Zika, more than any other country.
Doctors have also linked it to a potentially
crippling neurological disorder, Guillain-Barre
Alarm bells rang on Tuesday when author-
ities in Texas said they had confirmation of
the virus being transmitted by sexual contact
and not just tropical mosquitoes.
Dallas County officials said a patient there
was infected following sexual contact with
someone who had returned to the United
States after contracting it in Venezuela.
Brazilian authorities are on alert over the
threat to the Olympic Games to be held in
in Rio de Janeiro in August.
"We are sure we will win this battle and
it will not affect the Games," Rio 2016 organ-
izing committee spokesman Mario Andrada
said however on Tuesday.
The Olympics will be held during the south-
ern hemisphere winter, which means there
will be fewer mosquitoes, organiSers stressed.
The WHO yesterday warned European
countries to act early to prevent the spread
French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi
announced it had begun research into a vac-
cine for Zika, for which there is currently no
specific treatment. (AP)
Viviane Oliveira, who's three months pregnant, dances next to a sign that reads in Portuguese,
"Get out Zika" during a street carnival on Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, at
which agents of the city's health secretary distributed kits with information about Zika virus.
South America in
Zika crisis talks
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