China invests more than $50M in stadium

NASSAU — The Bahamas unveiled a national stadium that China built for more than $50 million as the Asian country ramps up investment across the archipelago.

Government officials from both the Bahamas and China inaugurated the 15,000-seat Thomas A. Robinson stadium Saturday. Sports Minister Charles Maynard said the stadium was a gift with no strings attached.

The stadium was built using only Chinese materials and labor and further cements the growing relationship between the two countries. China also expects to build a $50 million sports and recreational village around the stadium.

China’s state-owned Export-Import Bank is building the $2.6 billion Baha Mar resort complex in New Providence and has agreed to provide a $41 million loan to build a new port and bridge.


Gang feuds driving rise in murder rate

KINGSTON — The government is developing a new policy to battle crime as gang violence drives the homicide rate higher, the country’s top security official said.

National Security Minister Peter Bunting said police have reported 165 killings so far this year, compared to 135 during the corresponding period last year in a country of 2.8 million people.

Violent gangs are deeply entrenched in Spanish Town, just west of Kingston, and in some residential sections of the northwestern parish of St. James which includes the resort city of Montego Bay. Fighting among gangs for control of drug trafficking and extortion rackets has long been blamed for the majority of  homicides.


Historic building to open for weddings

SAN JUAN — Couples planning to get married in Puerto Rico will soon be able to tie the knot in one of the island’s most historic buildings.

The government says it will re-inaugurate a building known as the Vintage Casino in Old San Juan to attract more destination weddings.

The two-story building with baroque and neoclassical elements first opened in 1917 as a social club for the upper crust. It then became a social club for the United Service Organization and later housed the island’s first music school.

The following news briefs were compiled from dispatches from the Associated Press