Tuesday, August 16, 2022

July 21, 2021  Barbados on Tuesday announced that it would be cutting airport taxes for regional travelers by 50 percent, a request that had originally been made by Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne as a means of encouraging intra-regional travel.

“Cabinet has agreed that there is to be a 50 percent reduction in airport service charge to regional travelers. That brings us pretty much in line with what you have been hearing coming out of other markets, and in particular, Antigua, which is meant to reduce the taxes on inter-regional travel,” said Tourism and International Transport Lisa Cummins.

Cummins, responding to questions from the media, during the state of the tourism industry update, said the Cabinet had also agreed “to that significant reduction.

“That is meant to reduce the taxes on intra-regional travel,” she said, adding that Cabinet later this month will also be discussing a “full price based competitor’s analysis for Barbados”.

She said that the analysis would look at a “comprehensive review of the industry.

“I have to confess that I always say to people I came from the public sector. My specialization is in international trade, I came from the international community and the private sector, so I tend to try to bring all of those things combined into one and so what we have started to do is to look at the tourism sector as comprehensively as we can structurally as well as our price competitiveness…”

Cummins said that the first draft of the paper had been “sent back for some further additions.

“So we are looking at what is the price sensitivity of the Barbados tourism product relative to our competitors. So that includes a range of analysis. How many flights are coming into the region by country and to Barbados per day, where are they coming from, what is the cost of those flights, what taxes are applied in each country, what are the public health measures which are new…and ultimately how does that create a competitive or uncompetitive position for Barbados and on that basis what recommendations need to be made to the changes of our structure as a destination.

“So that will be coming up shortly and that analysis is underway,” Cummins added.

Earlier this month, as he addressed the opening ceremony of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) summit, Prime Minister Browne said increased movement of people within the Caribbean would be a major boost to regional economies in seeking to rebound.

“To assist in this regard, we need to immediately establish common or harmonized regional health protocols for travel (‘travel bubble’) that are clear to the public and communicated widely. The discriminatory practice of banning travel from member states with elevated levels of COVID, while accommodating guests from countries of greater risks should be discouraged.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that air transport is the oxygen that keeps tourism alive and functioning in our region. We need to care for it and provide the inputs and the enabling economic environment that will allow air transportation to grow our tourism sector back to good health,” said Browne, who is now the CARICOM chairman.

Last month, Antigua and Barbuda announced a 50 percent reduction in taxes on airline tickets for travel within several CARICOM countries with St. John’s indicating also that the measure will last for six months in the first instance.

“We think at this time where regional travel is relatively low, extremely flat that there is very little to lose and even though it may not be the best condition which to analyze the elasticity of ticket prices, it will give us some indicative indication as to how a reduction in pricing would impact on demand without creating a financial crisis, “Prime Minister Gaston Browne said.

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Entertainment

September 7, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Actor Michael K. Williams, who as the rogue robber of drug dealers Omar Little on “The Wire” created one of the most beloved and enduring characters in a prime era of television, died Monday. Williams was found dead Monday afternoon by family members in his Brooklyn penthouse apartment, New York City police said. He was 54. His death was being investigated as a possible drug overdose, the NYPD said. The medical examiner was investigating the cause of death. Little, a “stick-up boy” based on real figures from Baltimore, was probably the most popular character among the devoted fans of “The Wire,” the HBO show that ran from 2002 to 2008 and is re-watched constantly in streaming.

September 8, 2021 LOS ANGELES (AP) — Britney Spears’ father filed Tuesday to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years. James Spears filed his petition to terminate the conservatorship in Los Angeles Superior Court. “As Mr. Spears has said, again and again, all he wants is what is best for his daughter,” the document says. “If Ms. Spears wants to terminate the conservatorship and believes that she can handle her own life, Mr. Spears believes that she should get that chance.” Judge Brenda Penny, who oversees the case, will need to approve the move. Britney Spears attorney Matthew Rosengart said in an email the filing “represents another legal victory for Britney Spears — a massive one — as well as vindication for Ms. Spears.”

September 8, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — With Katie Holmes and Lil’ Kim on his front row and singer Marina on the mic high above his runway, Christian Siriano helped kicked off New York Fashion Week’s first big pandemic round of in-person shows Tuesday with a flurry of neon and lace-inspired in part by all the Italian women in his life. From ornate Gotham Hall, beneath a stained-glass skylight 70 feet up, Siriano’s commitment to size inclusivity was never stronger as he opened and closed the show with plus-size breakout model Precious Lee. She first walked in a stunning yellow trouser suit with wide loose pants and an asymmetrical jacket, a matching crossover bralette underneath.

September 7, 2021  VENICE, Italy (AP) — Paul Schrader knows he has a limited number of films left, so whatever he does from here on out is going to be for himself. At 75 years old, the writer of “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” and director of “American Gigolo” and “Mishima” was even somewhat prepared to call it a day after his 2018 film “First Reformed,” for which he got his first Oscar nomination. He didn’t want to. He just knew it might be the reality. “I thought I would go back to this character again for about the fifth time,” Schrader said in a recent interview. By “this character” he means “the man in the room.” It’s Travis Bickle. It’s John LeTour. It’s Julian Kay. And it’s a formula he’s been working with for 45 years.

Business News

September 8, 2021  -Stocks were mostly lower in Asia on Wednesday after a lackluster session on Wall Street, where weak jobs data and pandemic concerns weighed on sentiment. Shares rose in Tokyo after economic growth for the April-June quarter was revised upward to an annualized 1.9% from an earlier estimate of 1.3%. “Any feel-good factor was ignored, though, given the climb was less than half of the 4.20% fall in Q1,” Jeffrey Halley of Oanda said in a commentary. “Japan will be lucky to break even this year as the current Covid-19 wave will almost certainly have weighed on domestic consumption,” he said.

September 8, 2021 NEW YORK (AP) — There will be something missing at two Whole Foods stores opening next year: the rows of cashiers. Amazon, which owns the grocery chain, said Wednesday that it will bring its cashier-less technology to two Whole Foods stores for the first time, letting shoppers grab what they need and leave without having to open their wallets. Cameras and sensors track what’s taken off shelves. Items are charged to an Amazon account after customers leave the store with them. But there will be an option for those who want to shop the old-fashioned way: Self-checkout lanes will be available that take cash, gift cards and other types of payment. Amazon first unveiled the cashier-less technology in 2018 at an Amazon Go convenience store and has expanded it to larger Amazon supermarkets. But it will be the first time it has appeared at Whole Foods, a chain of more than 500 grocery stores Amazon bought four years ago.

September 8, 2021  BEIJING (AP) — An avalanche of changes launched by China’s ruling Communist Party has jolted everyone from tech billionaires to school kids. Behind them: President Xi Jinping’s vision of making a more powerful, prosperous country by reviving revolutionary ideals, with more economic equality and tighter party control over society and entrepreneurs. Since taking power in 2012, Xi has called for the party to return to its “original mission” as China’s economic, social and cultural leader and carry out the “ rejuvenation of the great Chinese nation.” The party has spent the decade since then silencing dissent and tightening political control. Now, after 40 years of growth that transformed China into the world’s factory but left a gulf between a wealthy elite and the poor majority, the party is promising to spread prosperity more evenly and is pressing private companies to pay for social welfare and back Beijing’s ambition to become a global technology competitor.

Fashion News

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