Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 28th 2016 Contents A33
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The Guyana government will host the
Caribbean Community and Common
Market's annual summit in July because
Dominica is still reeling from the impact of
Hurricane Erica that killed more than 30
people and damaged infrastructure last
Guyana government officials said
yesterday that Dominica Prime Minister,
Roosevelt Skerrit will still chair the three-
day summit. The gathering is expected to
focus on legalising medical marijuana,
suing European countries for slavery
reparations, climate change and the impact
of low oil and commodity prices on exports
from member nations. (AP)
Guyana to host Caricom summit
Zimbabwe's ruling party has been
criticised for hosting lavish 92nd
birthday celebrations for President
Robert Mugabe while swathes of the
population face food shortages.
The event reportedly cost almost
The opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC) called the
The MDC said the celebrations were
"ill-conceived". Money used for the
event should be used to import maize
"to avert the impending starvation" in
Masvingo and other areas, said a MDC
Outrage over Mugabe birthday party
The first major temporary truce in Syria's five-
year civil war has come into effect.
The "cessation of hostilities" began at
midnight last Friday, with early reports saying
front lines were silent.
However, Syrian state media said several shells
had hit residential areas of the capital,
Damascus. It did not say who had fired.
Low-level clashes have also been reported
between rebel groups and government forces
A special taskforce chaired by the United
States and Russia is to meet in Geneva to
monitor violations of the agreement.
The truce involves Syrian government and
rebel forces, but not the so-called Islamic State
group (IS) or the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front.
In the run-up to the deadline, US President
Barack Obama warned the Syrian government
and its ally Russia "the world will be watching".
More than 250,000 Syrians have been killed in
Syria's civil war and millions more have been
forced from their homes. (BBC)
More than 20 people have been killed and many
more wounded in separate suicide attacks in
In the latest attack, at least 12 people were
killed in front of the defence ministry building
in Kabul, according to a statement released by
Officials had a slightly lower death toll from
"Nine people were killed and 13 were
wounded," Abdul Rahman Rahimi, Kabul's
police chief, said at the scene of the blast,
which occurred as offices closed for the day.
"Most of them were civilians."
The Taliban claimed responsibility.
The attacks come as officials from
Afghanistan, Pakistan, the US and China are
pressing for a resumption of the peace talks
with the Taliban.
But it remains unclear whether the Taliban
will take part in direct peace talks that the
four-nation group hope will be held in the
Pakistani capital, Islamabad, as early as next
week. (Al Jazeera)
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are
facing off in the South Carolina primary,
the latest battleground for the Democratic
Clinton is seen as the favourite to clinch
But on the eve of the vote, Sanders was
endorsed by Robert Reich, a former official
in Bill Clinton's presidential administration.
Both contenders are hoping to build
momentum ahead of "Super Tuesday" pri-
maries in 11 states next week.
South Carolina is the Democrats' fourth
nominating contest since the primaries began
on February 1.
"The South Carolina primary is personally
important to me because I want to send a
strong signal that South Carolina is ready
for change, ready for progress, ready to make
a difference,'' Clinton, 68, said last Friday.
Eight years ago, she lost the state over-
whelmingly to then Senator Barack Obama.
Observers say a victory here would also
establish Clinton as the firm favourite among
black voters, a key section of the Democratic
electorate, and set her up to garner a big haul
of delegates in Super Tuesday contests in
Rival Bernie Sanders, 74, a veteran senator
from Vermont, is not expected to do well in
South Carolina and commentators say he
has struggled to gain traction.
On the Republican side, billionaire Donald
Trump leads a field that has dwindled to five
from 12 a month ago. He won the Nevada
caucus last Wednesday by a wide margin -
correspondents say he is beginning to look
Attacks reported as
truce comes into effect
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stands in front of his airplane as he
speaks during a rally yesterday, in Bentonville, Arkansas. (AP PHOTO)
Suicide attacks kill dozens
Air strike kills 30
Yoko Ono hospitalised
At least 30 people have been killed in an air
strike on a market near the Yemeni capital,
Sanaa, witnesses say.
Residents said at least 30 people were injured,
most of them civilians, reports say.
It is not clear who carried out the strike, but
Houthi rebels have accused the Saudi-led
The Saudi offensive is aimed at restoring the
government and driving back rebels loyal to ex-
president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Some 6,000 people have been killed since the
start of the campaign last March, about half of
them civilians, according to the UN.
The strike hit the Nehm region north-east of
Sanaa, where coalition-backed loyalists have
been advancing as they try to reach rebel-
controlled Sanaa, reports say.
It was also reported that other areas of Sanaa
were hit by coalition air strikes yesterday, but
the information has not been independently
The coalition has not commented. (BBC)
Artist and activist Yoko Ono was
hospitalised in New York after experiencing
"extreme flu-like" symptoms, her publicist said.
Ono, 83, was married to Beatle John Lennon
until his death in 1980. She was taken to the
hospital Friday night, according to publicist
"Her doctor thought it would be a good idea
for her to get checked," he said. He denied
media reports that she suffered a stroke.
Her son, Sean Ono Lennon, also denied the
reports, saying she is "just dehydrated and
Clinton eyes big S Carolina win
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary
Clinton and her husband, former president
Bill Clinton, arrive to speak rally, in Columbia,
last Friday. AP PHOTO
The former lover of President Evo Morales
who was working as a high-ranking executive
at a Chinese firm has been arrested as part of
a probe into alleged influence trafficking
involving hundreds of millions of dollars in
Gabriela Zapata was expected to be
charged yesterday with illegal enrichment,
laundering of unjust gains and influence
trafficking, according to her lawyer. She was
taken into custody last Friday at the request
of Bolivia's anti-corruption agency, who
argued she was a flight risk.
The bombshell revelation this month of
Morales' past relationship with Zapata
upended the final stretch of a referendum
campaign aimed at allowing the president to
seek re-election when his current term ends in
2020. Morales narrowly lost the vote,
delivering a major blow to his decade-old
In 2013, Zapata became general manager
for Bolivia of China CAMC Engineering Co. Ltd,
whose seven contracts with the state, all but
one no-bid, are worth more than $500 million.
Opposition politicians accuse Morales of
influence-trafficking through the Chinese firm,
a claim he denies.
Along with Zapata, two officials in the
presidential office are being charged. (AP)
Bolivian leader's ex-lover held in corruption probe
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