Robbery foiled at resort

NASSAU — Security personnel on Sunday foiled an attempted robbery in the casino of the Atlantis mega-resort. Three bandits tried to rob a cashier's cage after using pepper spray, according to a statement from Kerzner International Bahamas, which manages the resort.

Resort officials said the robbery attempt was not visible to casino patrons. It occurred in an employee-only area behind the kiosks where people collect winnings.

The three Bahamian suspects were quickly caught by resort security and taken into custody by the Royal Bahamas Police Force. Their identities were not immediately disclosed.


Justice minister fired 

PORT-OF-SPAIN — Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar fired Justice Minister Herbert Volney following outcry over a law that critics said could have helped former officials avoid criminal charges.
She said Volney lied to the Cabinet when he assured it that top justice officials fully supported the law before it was approved.

The measure called for dismissal of some criminal cases 10 years or older that had not gone to trial. Critics alleged it would have let the government throw out charges against a former prime minister and other officials charged with receiving millions of dollars in bribes in the 1990s.
The law has been repealed.


Local trial for drug suspects

TORTOLA — Caribbean court Judge Albert Redhead ruled against a U.S. request to extradite five men on drug trafficking charges, saying they will stand trial in the British Virgin Islands.

The men were arrested after a joint U.S.-British Virgin Islands operation in which authorities seized more than 551 pounds of cocaine on a speedboat near Tortola in September 2010.

A U.S. indictment charged the men, along with eight other people accused of trafficking drugs to the United States. But Redhead, of the Eastern Caribbean court, ruled there wasn't enough evidence to prove the men knew that the cocaine was destined for the U.S.


PM avoids no-confidence motion

ST. GEORGE'S — Governor General Carlyle Glean ended a parliamentary session, allowing Prime Minister Tillman Thomas to avoid debate on a no-confidence motion filed by lawmaker Karl Hood, a former political ally.

The move bought Thomas time to thwart any attempt by opposition lawmakers and unhappy backbenchers from his party to push through the no-confidence measure.

A no-confidence motion can be re-filed once a new session is open.


Push to complete IMF deal

KINGSTON — Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller said her government is pushing to negotiate a new agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

She told a conference of her ruling party that she could not give a deadline for when an IMF pact will be completed. But she said that a new agreement was critical to boosting investor confidence and unlocking hundreds of millions of dollars from international organizations.


Call for end to embargo

HAVANA – Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said whoever wins the U.S. presidential election has an “historic opportunity” to end America’s 50-year economic embargo of the island.

Rodriguez wasn't voicing a preference for either incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama or Republican challenger Mitt Romney. But he said the time had come to end the embargo, which he called “obsolete” and a holdover of the Cold War.

He made the comment Sept. 20 while presenting Cuba's yearly report on the effect of the sanctions. He did not say whether his government would make any concessions in return.


Public corruption record

SAN JUAN – The U.S. territory had the highest number of federal public corruption convictions for any of the 94 U.S. judicial districts last year.

The office of U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez said Puerto Rico came in first with 130 convictions, after placing second since 2002, always trailing New Jersey.