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Pur-ported allies: The British Virgin Islands and China have entered into an agreement to develop cooperative strategies to improve tourism, technology, and economics. This week representatives of BVI’s Ministry of Finance traveled to Tianjin, China to make a pledge with Tianjin’s Administration Commission of the Central Business District. The two port cities hope to ally and consort with one another to see gains in various industries over the coming years.

Mathew and Martinique: Tropical storm Matthew, before increasing in speed and strength, was already wreaking havoc in Martinique. A fund has been created to repay farmers whose land and crops were devastated. Martiniquais farmers can file for compensation from the Direction of Agriculture and Forestry, which will determine how much, and under what circumstances, to disperse the funds.

Danger in Belize: According to the Belize Crime Observatory, an initiative launched this week, 115 people have been murdered to date this year. This is a marked increase from 2015 in which 119 individuals were killed by the year’s end. The data collected by the Crime Observatory states that murder, motor vehicular theft, and violent sexual assault have increased by 21%, 26%, and 13% respectively. Conversely, rape has decreased by 43%, which has officials re-examining safety measures and crime-reporting procedures.

Doctors leave Puerto Rico: The economic recession in Puerto Rico has increased the cost of living and put healthcare professionals in a life-threatening predicament. Puerto Rican doctors are fleeing the island at an alarming rate. Over the last 10 years, the number of doctors has decreased by 5,000; taking with the necessary treatment and specialized expertise that many with diseases need. With most of the island receiving Medicare or Medicaid, doctors cannot afford to wait for PR’s indebted government to repay them for services performed. Simultaneously, the doctors that have stayed cannot get the much needed equipment that their specialized fields require due to cost. As doctors seek opportunities abroad, patients are left to wait months to see specialists and get the treatments they need for chronic or complex ailments. It is predicted that the number of healthcare professionals will continue to decrease leaving patients in dire straits.

Anguilla gets upgraded:  Formerly known as the Viceroy Anguilla, the island’s foremost resort has been reopened as a Four Seasons Resort; the second of its kind in the Caribbean. The $10 million refurbishment went to preparing the resort for its debut and the 500-member staff. The resort has already begun to accept reservations.

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