Caribbean news briefs

Jamaica has increased security at its two main airports following a Christmas Day bombing attempt on a U.S. airliner.

Police in the Bahamas say a 13-year-old fatally stabbed an adult cousin after they argued over use of a computer

JAMAICA: Airport official says Islamic DVD found on plane led to delay, security check

KINGSTON, Jamaica _ A DVD with Islamic content found on a plane at a Jamaican airport led to the re-screening of dozens of passengers destined for London, an airport security official said Sunday.

John McFarlane, security chief at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, said all passengers on Thursday’s Virgin Atlantic flight to London were taken off the plane after the DVD was discovered by a crew member.

“Everyone was re-screened and the flight went off without a hitch” after a brief delay, McFarlane said Sunday.

McFarlane declined to specify exactly what the disc’s contents were, saying only that he was told it “was Islamic” and it made the flight crew “uncomfortable.”

He also did not say where it was found. None of the passengers claimed the DVD.

McFarlane called the additional security check a matter of “due diligence.”

A Virgin Atlantic spokesman did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.

Jamaica has increased security at its two main airports following a Christmas Day bombing attempt on a U.S. airliner.

Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old passenger, was arrested after he allegedly tried to bring down a Northwest Airlines flight bound for Detroit. Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula claims it was behind the attempt.

GUANTANAMO: Some Democrats want Obama to stop transfer of detainees to Yemen

WASHINGTON _ Some Democratic lawmakers who support closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, say the U.S. should reconsider whether to repatriate suspected terrorists from Yemen, given the al-Qaida activity in the poor Arab nation.

President Barack Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, said Sunday the transfers will continue if the administration deems them warranted.

Six Yemenis returned last month were released after the government there determined they were not a threat, officials in Yemen told The Associated Press.

President Barack Obama has said an al-Qaida group operating in Yemen apparently was behind the plot to bring down a U.S.-bound airliner on Christmas Day. The U.S. and Britain closed their embassies in Yemen on Sunday in response to threats from al-Qaida.

Although Republicans have criticized the transfers to Yemen, some Democrats, including Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein of California also have urged a halt.

Rep. Jane Harman of California, a member of the Homeland Security Committee, said Sunday that officials should review the transfers. She does support plans to close the prison and open one in Illinois for terrorism suspects.

“I think it is a bad time to send the 90 or so Yemenis back to Yemen,” Harman said.

Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent who has opposed closing Guantanamo, said transferring any of the Yemeni detainees back home would be irresponsible.

BAHAMAS: Police: Boy, 13, fatally stabs adult cousin over use of computer

NASSAU, Bahamas _ Police in the Bahamas say a 13-year-old fatally stabbed an adult cousin after they argued over use of a computer.

The boy is charged with first-degree murder in the killing of 26-year-old Cordero Newbold in the capital of Nassau. A police statement says the man died of stab wounds and a bloody knife was recovered from the home in the Chester Close neighborhood.

The suspect was not required to enter a plea when he appeared before a judge. He was remanded to a juvenile lockup and is due in court Jan. 19.

The boy’s lawyer, Gregory Hilton, did not immediately return a call Sunday. Authorities are not releasing his name because of his age.

BAHAMAS: Coast Guard ends search for ship passenger who officials said jumped overboard

MIAMI _ The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for a cruise ship passenger who government officials say jumped overboard in the Bahamas.

The Coast Guard stopped searching Saturday afternoon for 23-year-old Neha Chhikara. She was reported missing Thursday afternoon from Royal Caribbean’s Monarch of the Seas as the ship headed from Nassau to CocoCay.

Security camera footage showed the woman going overboard from the 11th deck early Thursday.

According to the cruise line, Bahamian government officials reviewed the security footage and determined that the woman jumped overboard.

The ship returned to Port Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday after a five-day cruise through the Bahamas.

Coast Guard crews searched a total of 3,725 square miles (9,650 square kilometers


GUYANA: Main opposition party settles tax debt with Georgetown council

GEORGETOWN, Guyana _ Guyana’s main opposition party has paid more than a decade’s worth of delinquent property taxes to the capital’s cash-strapped government.

Party spokesman Aubrey Norton said Sunday that the People’s National Congress has has paid $110,000 to Georgetown’s city council.

The council has sparred with the party over the outstanding tax bills for years.

The city originally said the party owed $550,000, but accepted the lower payment after PNC officials disputed the bill, arguing the city’s treasury system was deficient.

Georgetown is pursuing overdue taxes so it can pay $3 million in debts to the state-run Guyana Power and Light Company.

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