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New Caribbean Business Conference Announced As Ethics Committee Probes Trips By Lawmakers

CaribWorldNews, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. June 26, 2009: The venue for the 14th Caribbean Multi-National Business Conference has been announced even as the House ethics committee announced it would look into Caribbean trips taken to the event by five congressional law makers in 2007 and 2008.

The New York Carib News, which hosts the annual event, said on their website that the next conference will take place in early November at the Ritz Carlton Resort in Jamaica. According to the site, `approximately 300 participants` are expected to attend, including Members of Congress from the United States, head of states from the Caribbean region, and top level corporate and business executives, senior scholars and policy makers from the United States, the Caribbean and Panama.

However, no special speakers or sponsors were as yet announced.

On Wednesday night, Reps. Zoe Lofgren, (D-Calif.), and Jo Bonner, (R-Ala.), the chairwoman and ranking member of the ethics committee, announced that the panel had voted to create a four-member investigative subcommittee to determine whether the trips to the Caribbean event, taken last year by Reps. Charles Rangel, Carolyn Kirkpatrick (D-Mich.), Donald Payne (D-N.J.), Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Donna Christian-Christensen (D-V.I.), violated House gift rules.

In the statement, Lofgren and Bonner said the ethics panel had voted to adopt a resolution "establishing an investigative subcommittee to investigate officially-connected travel that was sponsored, funded and organized by an organization known as Carib News or Carib News Foundation."

The National Legal and Policy Center of Virginia has charged that the trip may have broken House rules on corporate-sponsored travel.