President Charles Savarin and Russia's Ambassador
President Charles Savarin and Russia's Ambassador

The body of a deceased baby found in Pointe Michel

The Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force is now investigating the discovery of a dead baby buried in a plastic bag in Pointe Michel.

According to reports, police acting on intelligence went to the home of the deceased Sharonda Minette of the hamlet, who died unexpectedly on May 22, 2023, and discovered the body after digging beneath the house.

Minette, it is suspected, was pregnant and may have aborted the child.

More controversy surrounding the expansion of the airport runway

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has defended his government in light of their recent decision to enlarge the runway at the Douglas Charles airport while the development of an international airport is underway.

According to Skerrit, the decision to undertake such a project took work. However, he was also divided on whether the State should have incurred such a cost.

"I spent some time determining whether I should go ahead and spend the money knowing that we are building the international airport," he said. "But in my discussions with people who are advising me on this, I was convinced–originally I was not convinced–that I should spend the money on this."

According to the Prime Minister, he was persuaded that the project should proceed to preserve existing flights onto the island, particularly those from the US mainland. "What you do not want is to lose those flights and lose the opportunity for additional airlines coming in," he stated.

"If I had American (Airlines) coming seven days a week and if I were able to get JetBlue to come in three days a week and I can keep them up to the construction of the airport, what do you think is going to happen?"

Tourism Minister Denise Charles first announced the runway extension project at the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association's (CHTA) Caribbean Travel Marketplace in Barbados.

However, the news did not go over well with many Dominicans because a one-billion-dollar contract was signed between the Dominican government and Montreal Management Consultant Establishment (MMCE) to develop an international airport.

Many others thought it was a waste of scarce resources. However, Skerrit stated that the runway expansion project would reduce the potential of airlines cutting their services to Dominica, which would be bad for the island's tourism business and economy.

"And that's not good for the tourism industry," he stressed.

He noted that the decision is being made to guarantee that the island secures the investments and business that Dominica is receiving, as well as to maintain confidence in the airlines.

The Prime Minister has also revealed that at least one airline has inquired about the timeline for implementing the extended runway.

"Because they have said that they are keen, but they want to get that schedule: when will we start, when will we be completed," he said.

Dominica's President expresses worry to Dominica's new Russian ambassador over the Russia-Ukraine conflict

Dominica's President, His Excellency Charles Savarin, has informed Russia's new ambassador to Dominica, Sergey Petrovich, that the country is concerned about the war in Ukraine and the possibility of a wider confrontation.

He spoke at a ceremony on Monday at the State House during which Petrovich presented his credentials.

"We, therefore, urge all parties to work assiduously to bring an end to the fighting and to find a peaceful resolution to this conflict," the President said.

According to Savarin, the impact of the fighting is being felt worldwide, especially on the supply chain for goods and services and on the price of petroleum products and food supplies.

On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Still, it refused to call it a war, referring to it as a "special military operation."

After more than a year of bloodshed, the conflict has ravaged parts of Ukraine, alienated Russia from the West, and caused global economic and food crises.

Meanwhile, Petrovich stated that he would do everything possible to promote the development of Dominica's historic friendly relations with Russia, which have existed for 28 years since diplomatic ties were established in 1995.

"And so I think we have a good potential for the development of our bilateral relations in different spheres like freight, economic investment, tourism, culture, and in particular, education," he said.

While in Dominica, Petrovich also met with Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.

"There was an interesting exchange of views on the issues of bilateral relations, as well as the prospects for the development of dialogue between Russia and regional integration associations operating in the Latin [American] and the Caribbean region," the Russian embassy in Jamaica said in a social media post.

Sango to head the DAPA

Following the 39th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Dominica Association of Persons with Disabilities (DAPD), long-serving member Judy Sango was elected to lead the organization.

Her fellow board members include Timeus Pierre-Louis, Vice-President; Seraphine Jno. Lewis, Secretary; Harolda Henry-Riley, Treasurer;

Irma Raymond-Joseph, Assistant Secretary/Treasurer; Relda Richards and Roy Labad complete the seven-member group.

PM meets Minister of Tourism of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to discuss bilateral relations

Among the discussion between Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit and H.E. Ahmed Al-Khateeb, Minister of Tourism of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, when they met last Wednesday was the bilateral cooperation in several areas, including agriculture, tourism, culture and infrastructure development between the two countries.

Skerrit, along with members of the Cabinet and senior government officials, held high-level talks with foreign officials at the Executive Lounge of the Douglas Charles Airport.

According to a statement from the Prime Minister's Facebook page, His Excellency led an eight-member delegation which included Sultan Almusallam, Deputy Minister of Tourism; Saja Abdullah Alhoshan, Chief of Staff; Faisal Alkahtani, Deputy CEO of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD); and Mohammadi Shenqiti, Portfolio Manager, Expo 2023.