S2.E33: Why Against The Death Penalty?
In this episode, we discuss the reasons why many continue to advocate for the abolition of the death penalty. This discussion was organised in partnership with Amplify Caribbean. The Big Issues is proud to provide a space where civil organisations such as Amplify Caribbean can engage in meaningful discussions on issues which are important to our society. This programme first aired on NewsCo Observer Radio 91.1 FM on March 6th, 2022. The host is Kieron Murdoch. The guest is: A’Shante’ O’Keiffe, Head and Co-Founder of the organisation, Amplify Caribbean. Pete-Semaj McKnight, an attorney-at-law and Litigator. His areas of practice include, but are not limited to criminal, civil, and immigration. He is also a cohost of a radio program called Life Law & Music (LLM) which covers different areas of life, with a little law & Music Kadeem Joseph, a journalist, activist, and a United Nations (UN) gender advocate. Get the latest news from Antigua and Barbuda at the Antigua Observer online.
30 Apr 2022
S2.E32: Is A Mega-Wealth Tax Viable?
A mega wealth tax on local elites and wealthy economic citizens has been proposed as an alternative to the increasingly controversial citizenship by investment programme (CBI/CIP). In this episode, we ask: How viable is the idea of further taxing the wealthy in our society in order to improve the lot of all? could this really work in Antigua and Barbuda? Our guests explored the possibilities thoroughly and offered strong critiques throughout. This programme first aired on NewsCo Observer Radio 91.1 FM on March 6th, 2022. The host is Kieron Murdoch. The guest is: Anthony Stuart, the 2nd Vice President of the Democratic National Alliance, and one of its founding members. Anthony Stuart was formerly a government senator during the Spencer administration. He's a financial consultant, a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Fraud Examiner. He’s also an Adjunct Lecturer at the UWI Five Islands Campus. Dr. Thomson Fontaine, an economist currently working in South Sudan. As an economist, he also worked at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for 13 years. His work and writing have focused on growth, currency crises, development, fiscal management, and debt. He is from Dominica and was a Senator there previously. Peter Queeley, a Montserrat-based economic and financial analyst, and a social and political commentator. Peter Queeley once worked within the Ministry of Finance of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda in the areas of budgeting and economic management. Dr. Dalano DaSouza, Assistant Lecturer in Economics at the UWI Cave Hill. Co-host of the ‘A Lawyer & a Policy Analyst Walk into a Bar’ podcast. This podcast raises awareness about Caribbean economic, political, legal and social issues in a way that any citizen can understand. Get the latest news from Antigua and Barbuda at the Antigua Observer online.
30 Apr 2022
S2.E31: National Heroes: Who Is Worthy?
One of Antigua and Barbuda's most renowned musicians and Calypso icons, Sir McClean Emmanuel marked his 80th birthday recently as it was suggested that he ought to be made a National Hero. Some ask if he is worthy of the status. In this episode, we ask: What defines a national hero? And when is someone worthy? This programme first aired on NewsCo Observer Radio 91.1 FM on March 6th, 2022. The host is Kieron Murdoch. The guest is: Krystle Howell, a Barbadian Certified Internal Auditor. She's an advocate for integrity and accountability in government. Barbara Arindell, an author, a literary enthusiast, and a cultural enthusiast as well. Professor Don Marshall, political scientist with a Professorship in International Political Economy and Development Studies. He is currently the Director of the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute at the Cave Hill Campus of the UWI. Rev. Canon Reid Simon, an Anglican priest serving in the island of Anguilla. Get the latest news from Antigua and Barbuda at the Antigua Observer online.
30 Apr 2022
S2.E30: Asot, Water, Enrichment & A Mystery Slate
Disgraced Labour Party MP Asot Michael has won again in court, defending an injunction secured against the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP), and triggering another rebuke of the MP from the Prime Minister Gaston Browne, his former political ally and personal friend. In Parliament, Works Minister Lennox Weston told Michael in jest that he should spend his own money to improve his constituency, saying it was the Labour Party that made Michael a millionaire. Government MPs casually laughed off the comment, even applauding it. Meanwhile, the United Progressive Party (UPP) and the ABLP are both promising solutions to the water crisis. Strangely, the Democratic National Alliance (DNA) is yet to reveal all its candidates, and both it and the UPP have dismissed collaboration in the upcoming election. In this episode, we discuss the politics of late and how it will impact upon the next election. This programme first aired on NewsCo Observer Radio 91.1 FM on March 6th, 2022. The host is Kieron Murdoch. The guest is: Carlon Knight, political and socio economic affairs commentator. Dr. David Hinds, political commentator; Associate professor of African and African American studies with a concentration on Caribbean and African Diaspora Studies at Arizona State University. Dr. George Brathwaite, Lecturer in the Department of Government, Sociology, Social Work and Psychology at The University of the West Indies, Cavehill. Former Consultant Editor at the Caribbean Times in Antigua and Barbuda. Get the latest news from Antigua and Barbuda at the Antigua Observer online.
30 Apr 2022
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S2.E29: Upping Minimum Wage: What Would Be Achieved?
A multi-sectoral committee has been invited by the Labour Minister to formally discuss the prospects for raising the minimum wage in Antigua and Barbuda. In this episode, we ask: What would raising the minimum wage achieve? Is it prudent at this time? Is it feasible and is it overdue? This programme first aired on NewsCo Observer Radio 91.1 FM on February 27th, 2022. The host is Kieron Murdoch. The guest is: Jeremy Stephen, a Barbadian economist and financial consultant. Samuel James, President of the Antigua and Barbuda Free Trade Union (ABFTU). Peter Queeley, a Montserrat-based economic and financial analyst, and a social and political commentator. Peter Queeley worked with the Ministry of Finance, Government of Antigua and Barbuda in the areas of budgeting and economic management. Get the latest news from Antigua and Barbuda at the Antigua Observer online.
30 Apr 2022
S2.E28: Med Student Attacked Over Ride Fare
A dispute over ride fare between a driver and an foreign medical student became violent with the driver caught on camera attacking the other man with a stick. The driver has now been charged. Yet, there are many issues to be explored. Has this sort of thing happened before? How many unassociated drivers are there running solo ride services and how can they be held accountable for their conduct? Why did it escalate to the point of such violence? What ought the driver to have done differently? In this episode we discuss these and other issues. This programme first aired on NewsCo Observer Radio 91.1 FM on February 27th, 2022. The host is Kieron Murdoch. The guest is: Elijah James, an Antiguan and Barbudan businessman and activist. Ian Joseph, President of the United Taxi Company (UTC) which operates from the V.C. Bird International Airport in Antigua. He is also vice chair of the public transportation union. Kadeem Joseph, journalist and Health editor here at the Daily Observer and the Observer Radio, and a past student of the America University of Antigua, A.U.A. Get the latest news from Antigua and Barbuda at the Antigua Observer online.
30 Apr 2022
S2.E27: Russia Invades Ukraine: Crisis, Disbelief
Russia has invaded its western neighbour Ukraine, with the Russian President Vladimir Putin vowing to "demilitarize" the country and remove its elected leadership. Though it had been building up to this point for months now, many still doubted the Russian leader would unleash a full scale war, but rather, thought that he was flexing, so to speak, in order to seek concessions from Ukraine. The invasion has sparked a crisis in Europe. Commentators expect refugees, death and carnage unlike anything the continent has seen in this century. In this episode we break down the historical and political dynamic between Russia and Ukraine and explore what lead us to this point. We ask: What are the implications of this conflict for the people on both sides? And for the rest of the world? What consequences will this war have for the liberal international order? This programme first aired on NewsCo Observer Radio 91.1 FM on February 27th, 2022. The host is Kieron Murdoch. The guest is: Ambassador Aubrey Webson, Antigua and Barbuda’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN). Until his appointment in 2014, Dr. Webson had a long career with Perkins International, serving as its Director since 2011. Dr. Mark Kirton, a retired lecturer in the field of international relations. He is a former Director of the Institute of International Relations at The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, and today, joins us from Guyana. Jade-Mark Sonilal, a recent graduate of The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, where he studied politics and international relations at the undergraduate level. He is an activist, and a commentator on political, social and international issues. J’moul Francis, a researcher and a policy consultant. He is an Antiguan and Barbudan Commonwealth Scholar with professional and academic interests in Public International Law, European Union Law, CARICOM Integration Law, International Humanitarian Law, Constitutional Law, Public Policy, Diplomacy, and International Relations. Get the latest news from Antigua and Barbuda at the Antigua Observer online.
30 Apr 2022
S2.E26: Making Sense Of The DPP's Controversial Departure
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Antigua and Barbuda, Anthony Armstrong, has taken special leave from the office in the wake of a professional misconduct decision against him by a disciplinary body in Jamaica which the Attorney General says Armstrong intends to appeal. The ruling that he was guilty of "professional misconduct" was delivered on January 28th and stemmed from a long dispute between himself and a former client over the sale of property belonging to the client back in the 2000s. In this episode, we ask: How serious is the decision rendered against Armstrong? And how does the system keep check on the conduct of he of she who sits as DPP? This programme first aired on NewsCo Observer Radio 91.1 FM on February 20th, 2022. The host is Kieron Murdoch. The guest is: Ruggles Ferguson, attorney and a former President of both the Grenada Bar Association and the OECS Bar Association. He is the current President of OCCBA - the Organization of Commonwealth Caribbean Bar Associations. Get the latest news from Antigua and Barbuda at the Antigua Observer online.
30 Apr 2022
S2.E25: Spare The Rod For Daryll Matthew's Child
The education minister Daryl Matthew has signaled that the government has no immediate plans to propose banning corporal punishment in schools, despite his and the Prime Minister Gaston Browne's staunch and vocal support for the same idea around mid-2021. In a heated moment during an interview on Observer Radio with Joseph Apparicio, he famously said that he wouldn't condone a school official beating any child of his. What changed? In this episode, we ask: Has the administration taken the right decision in leaving corporal punishment alone? And what could have prompted policymakers to keep the status quo. This programme first aired on NewsCo Observer Radio 91.1 FM on February 20th, 2022. The host is Kieron Murdoch. The guests are: Vernice Mack, retired principal, formerly principal of the Buckley’s primary school. Carlon Knight, socio-economic and political commentator. Prof. Disraeli Hutton, retired lecturer. He was a lecturer in educational leadership and management, at the School of Education, University of the West Indies, Mona. Get the latest news from Antigua and Barbuda at the Antigua Observer online.
30 Apr 2022
S2.E24: Asot's Speech An Indictment Of Politics' Moral Bankruptcy
The Antigua Barbuda Labour Party's most scandalized MP, Asot Michael, lunched a stern rebuke of the Gaston Browne administration’s A+ rating of its performance, lavishing the government with criticism for what Michael says is the deliberate neglect of his St. Peter constituency. But whether or not he meant to do so, he was also casually acknowledging many of the ineffective, unethical and even underhanded ways in which politics is practiced in the country, and more importantly, by himself and by his own party. He's continuing a trend, in fact. Since his fallout began with the Prime Minister back in 2020, ostensibly over Michael's scandals, their sparring in Parliament has revealed much about corruption, dishonesty, and clientelism in politics both during the current Gaston Browne-led ABLP administration and under previous administrations. In this episode we ask: What can we learn from Asot Michael’s contribution to the 2022 budget debate? This programme first aired on NewsCo Observer Radio 91.1 FM on February 20th, 2022. The host is Kieron Murdoch. The guests are: Akaash Maharaj, an Ambassador-at-Large for the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption known also as GOPAC. GOPAC is an International nongovernmental organization made up of parliamentarians from across the world, working together to combat corruption, strengthen good government, and uphold the rule of law. Peter Wickham, Director of the polling and research firm, Caribbean Development Research Services. He has done numerous electoral polls in Antigua and Barbuda, and elsewhere in the region. He is a commentator on Caribbean political and social affairs. He is often retained by the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP). Dr. David Hinds, a political commentator and writer from Guyana. He is an Associate Professor of African and African American studies at the Arizona State University. His focus is on Caribbean and African Diaspora Studies. His research interests include governance and politics in the Caribbean, and Black political leadership. Get the latest news from Antigua and Barbuda at the Antigua Observer online.
30 Apr 2022