PASSINGS: David Thompson, Barbados prime minister, dies at 48

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Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson, 48, died Saturday at his private residence of pancreatic cancer, the government announced.

Thompson, who became prime minister in 2008, had been ill since March and traveled to New York several times for treatment.

In an address to the nation last month, Thompson said he was reshuffling his Cabinet to pass many of his responsibilities to other ministers. He said he chose to speak by radio instead of going on camera so people would focus on his message, not his appearance.

"It is a loss to not only the people of Barbados, but also the people of the Caribbean," said Denzil Douglas, prime minister of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Thompson's deputy, Freundel Stuart, who has been acting as prime minister, was sworn in as the country's new prime minister

Thompson, who was born in 1961 in Britain, was trained as a lawyer. He led his Democratic Labor Party to victory in 2008 elections, defeating an effort by the Barbados Labor Party to win a fourth consecutive term in government.

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