Nassau Guardian Stories

'Buddy' Hield showcasing out the full arsenal

January 07, 2016

While most were dazzled by Chavanno "Buddy" Hield's 46-point scoring display in Oklahoma's triple-overtime loss to Kansas on Monday, one statistic that really impressed a number of mock draft makers and National Basketball Association (NBA) scouts was the seven assists he tallied in the game.

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Godfrey Kelly C-Class Regatta set for the end of the month

January 07, 2016

In an effort to raise funds for the upcoming Cat Island Regatta in July, the Cat Island Sailing Club Association will host the Godfrey Kelly C-Class Regatta January 30-31 at Montagu Bay.

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Marathon Bahamas to once again attract hundreds of visitors
Marathon Bahamas to once again attract hundreds of visitors

January 07, 2016

Hundreds of visitors are expected in New Providence from January 16-17 for the Sunshine Insurance Race Weekend (SIRW), which includes the 6th Annual Susan G Komen 5K Race for the Cure and Marathon Bahamas.

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Please believe

January 07, 2016

Fresh off the world stage where he performed his hit single "The Caribbean Slide" live in front of approximately 10,000 people, and an estimated television audience of one million people, during the 2015 Miss World beauty pageant in Sanya, China, Julien "Julien Believe" Thompson is set to drop a new single on Monday.
Julien's single "Party Ambassadors" will feature Bennie Man, Fadda Fox from Barbados who sings "Ducking" and Ricardo Drue from Antigua who sings "Vagabond" and has been recorded in his signature Junkanoo pop sound -- an eclectic mix of island rhythms fused with pop music.
It's a single he says he is looking forward to releasing and giving the Bahamian people a good representation of his Bahamian sound.
"I'm very excited for it and can't wait for people to hear it," said Julien. "It's a more refined version of Junkanoo pop. With 'The Caribbean Slide' ... '242 Forward' we were just experimenting, trying to figure out exactly how we could make it work, and with this song now, it is right on the money."
Julien who has always believed in himself, says as far as he's concerned now with a global performance under his belt (he appeared three times on the Miss World stage) there's no where for him to go but up. And he's looking to expanding his band and taking his music outside The Bahamas.
"In the past it's just been about creating awareness locally, now that we have that we're going for the world. This year we're looking to represent the country internationally," he said. "But to date, the Miss World stage was the biggest audience I've ever had, and the biggest platform."
Taking to the beauty pageant stage he said was a proud moment for him. During one of his appearances he was clad in an aquamarine jacket in an ode to the Bahamian flag colors.
"It was a proud moment for me. I had my Bahamian jacket on for my country, because I felt it was a big deal not just for me as a musician, but for my people, and a chance to showcase to the world one part of our culture. The vibe was right. The energy was right. The atmosphere was right, but most of all, I felt really proud I could represent our country -- be the international face of music for The Bahamas."
Julien said the feeling he had while on that stage is hard to put into words, especially watching the audience take to their feet for his performance and jumping and screaming for him.
"You would have thought these people knew this song for a long time," he said. "They made me feel like they love me to death and they were happy to have me there. And it felt good as a Bahamian to be received and showcased to 1 million people."
Julien practiced with the delegates for about four days, after he arrived in Sanya; the delegates had rehearsed for two weeks before he arrived.
"We had to put in some time and energy to get it to what you saw [on television]," he said.
While he's always had a strong belief in himself, he said he hopes his performance cemented for Bahamians the fact that Bahamian artists are good enough and can be international in their craft.
"The one major thing that I want people to realize is that we're good enough, and coming from The Bahamas, not because the place is only 21 miles long, we can't be international. We need to support the arts, and embrace the musicians and creative people. No one can tell me I'm not good enough," he said. "No one can say that the sound from The Bahamas isn't good enough. No one can say that because I'm a Bahamian I'm not good enough. This is an indication, a prime example that no matter where in the world you're from, if you have a talent and you believe in it and you're prepared to put in that work and push yourself, and you have a strong team behind you, you can't lose. You will win. You must win, and that's how I feel right now."
Julien who also has hit singles such as "Live and Wine", "Believe" and "242 Forward" did not attain the level of success he is enjoying over night. The son of Christopher and Annette Thompson has been working at it ever since he started singing at the age of 13 to impress a girl -- although he says his mother told him he was singing since he was in the crib.
"When I started singing for the girl and she started freaking out, I said I could do this more often," he recalled. "There was this other fellow in my class who could sing, and he always got all the girls, and I knew he wasn't as handsome as me then, and they used to call me ugly in school ... so I was probably ugly then [but] I handsome now ... but they used to say I was ugly then so I figured if I did what he was doing I would be okay. I sang and it worked. And I just kept on singing and kept on singing and kept on singing."
The singer, songwriter and producer said he did not allow the naysayers to discourage him, but to rather motivate him.
When he released "The Caribbean Slide" he promoted it for all it was worth, taking it to all the schools and the gyms. Considering he was known as a balladeer, the earworm song took on a life of its own as people latched on to it.
For Julien music is his life and his everything.
"Music to me speaks to the masses of people. It's a way of communicating without being able to speak a certain language. And you can change lives through music, and inspire people through music -- and my goal is to do that through my music."
He encourages Bahamians to get behind artists such as himself.
"We really have to support our brothers and sisters, and empower them and encourage them, the same way we get behind these foreign people we don't even know," he said.
As Julien continues to soar, he says he can't take all the credit for what he's done, and that it's the team behind Julien Believe and the sponsors that have gotten him to where he is, and that without them he said he would not have been on the Miss World stage.

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The perfect end to the old or the best way to bring in the new year

January 07, 2016

The costume changes, the hits ... it was Diana Ross' night. And depending on how you viewed it -- Diana Ross' New Year's Eve Atlantis LIVE performance was either the perfect way to end the old year, or the best way to start the New Year.
The legendary Ross, 71, personified glitz and glamor on the glitziest, most glamorous night of the year for her set that went just over an hour in the intimate 4,000-seat Imperial Ballroom at that Atlantis during which she changed her costumes at least once for every two songs she sang, donning brightly colored, heavily sequined gowns and opulent coats and wraps.
One of the most iconic female singers of all time whose remarkable career has spanned almost five decades had the crowd on their feet from the moment she opened her mouth and took to the stage singing "I'm Coming Out".
Ross, who was once the lead singer for the Motown super-group, the Supremes had taken to the stage. And her vocals that have been described as smoky in the lower range, lighter and softer in the mid-range with a warm timbre that carries through to the top range, and an intrinsic sweetness and youthfulness were on full display.
Because her show was just over an hour, and with dozens of hits to her credit, omissions were unavoidable, but fans were able to groove out to between 10 and 12 hits such as "Baby Love", You Can't Hurry Love", "Stop! In the Name of Love" and "Upside Down" and ending with "I Will Survive".
Ross strolled the stage, clutching her ever-present fan, which she changed almost as many times as she changed her costumes, and entertained in the era of a classic entertainer. Her vocals and costumes were on full display, although she did add in a shoulder shimmy hair and there, and of course the hair was on full display.
The glamorous, elegant Diana Ross sounded fantastic, and her three backing vocalists and band backed her up perfectly. The photomontage behind her featuring scenes from over the years added to the evening for her fans.
She had the capacity crowd on their feet as she took to the stage, and they were on their feet when she belted out her last song, and gave fans time to make their way out of the venue to watch the fireworks display to ring in the New year.
Diana Ross live at the Atlantis live was amazing, and with the furthest seat from the stage only 120 feet away, there wasn't a bad seat in the house, not matter what price point you paid for your ticket.

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'Carol' -- a stylish and well directed film that most Bahamians won't get to see -- at least not at the theater

January 07, 2016

Carol (U.S. Rated R)
Cast: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson
Genre: Romantic Drama
Dwight's Rating: 3 Stars

Can there be a tie at the Oscars?
The question comes up now because of the new film, "Carol". The romantic drama is leading in the nominations (with five) for this weekend's Golden Globe Awards. In addition to "Best Motion Picture Drama", two of those nominations are for its stars, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, who are facing off in the same category -- "Best Performance in a Motion Picture -- Drama (Actress)".
Could the same thing happen next month at the Academy Awards?
We'll find out this coming Thursday when the Oscar nominations are revealed. But it would be a safe bet that at least one will get a nod.
"Carol" opened the Bahamas International Film Festival last month. It played here that one time, and I have it under good authority that it probably won't be playing publicly here again.
Why? Well, sadly the subject matter is probably just a bit too much for most local audiences to handle.
"Carol" tells the story of Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), who spots the beautiful, elegant Carol (Cate Blanchett) perusing the doll displays in a 1950s Manhattan department store. The two women develop a fast bond that becomes a love with complicated consequences.
Yes, it's a lesbian love story! And exactly 10 years after "Brokeback Mountain" never made it to The Bahamas, some things haven't really changed. A sweep at the Golden Globes, and a great showing with the Oscar nominations might change things, but don't hold your breath.
But, is "Carol" really deserving of praise?
Overall, the film is stylish and well directed. I was struck by how much it reminded me of 2002's "Far From Heaven", which also explored similarly taboo subject matters in a 1950s setting. Not surprisingly, Todd Haynes directed both movies.
And like "Far From Heaven", the performances stand out more and are more memorable than the overall film. Both Blanchett and Rooney are spellbinding in very unique ways.
Blanchett, who is remarkable in everything she does, seems superhuman, as she almost wafts elegantly in every scene. There's an iciness yet warmth in her every utterance or glance. How can that be? In any event, you can see why anyone, including Rooney's inexperienced Therese would be intrigued.
What's even more remarkable, though, is how strikingly different Rooney's performance is from Blanchett's. Compared to the latter's beautiful melodrama, Rooney's -- like the sheepish Therese -- is beautifully understated. In this May-December romance, she's understandably the insecure and unexposed one, trying to find herself.
One might be fooled into thinking it's a supporting role, and I wouldn't be surprised if that were to happen with the Academy Awards. But I think that would be a mistake. This story is largely told through Therese's eyes. And it's a transformative performance for Rooney, as you're likely to doubt this is the same person you may seen in the title role of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo".
Back to the awards: two actresses from the same movie being nominated against each other happens quite frequently in the Supporting Actress category at the Oscars, and especially in the last two decades. It happens much less frequently with Best Actress nominations.
And when it does happen, it appears those two actresses cancel each other out. The exception being Shirley MacLaine who beat out co-star Debra Winger in "Terms of Endearment "in 1983.
But there have been six ties in total, including the acting categories. The most memorable came in 1968 in the Best Actress category with the legendary Katharine Hepburn ("The Lion in Winter") tying with up-and-coming uber-star Barbra Streisand ("Funny Girl").
It's been a long time indeed. And it seems that if ever there were a time for another tie, it would be here, with two actresses so deserving of the highest recognition in such complementary work.

o Dwight Strachan is the host/producer of " Morning Blend" on Guardian Radio. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. Email dwight@nasguard.com and follow him on twitter@morningblend969.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens is more enjoyable than many that populate the sci-fi genre today

January 07, 2016

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Rated B)
Cast: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Harrison Ford, Adam Driver
Genre: Science Fiction
Dwight's Rating: 3 Stars
I get it!
If you watched the new film, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens", and thought you'd just witnessed the greatest movie ever, I get it!
And if you watched that same movie, and wondered what in God's name is all the hype about, and why you just wasted more than two hours of your life ... well, I get that too!
To the latter point: in many ways, this seventh installment in a four-decade-old film franchise seems like an anachronism -- a throw back to a bygone era, with its cheesy 1970s-style transitional wipes, and its adherence to that classic opening, that has been parodied incessantly since 1977. It also often feels like we're revisiting the same old familiar story.
But to dismiss it because it apparently is seeking a connection to its storied past would be to ignore the presence of a wholesomeness and exuberance that is sorely lacking in non-comedy action adventure movies today.
J.J. Abrams who directed and co-wrote the screenplay deserves special recognition and awards for his ability to bring new life and vigor to resurrected film projects. He did it with the reboot of "Star Trek" in 2009, and now again with "The Force Awakens."
Here he's crafted something that can serve as a real treat to die-hard fans, and to those who may not have been as enthusiastic about this "space opera". For the fans, there are many nods to the six previous movies. Many of those will be lost on most casual or novice observers. But if you've never watched, or you, like me, watched most or some of the original trilogy, and had little interest in the three prequels, and have a vague knowledge of what's happening, you'll probably be like, "whatever!" And it's fine.
"The Force Awakens" picks up 30 years after the last of the original trilogy ("Return of the Jedi") left off. After the defeat of the Galactic Empire, the galaxy faces a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order. When a defector named Finn (John Boyega) crash-lands on a desert planet, he meets Rey (Daisy Ridley), a tough scavenger whose droid contains a top-secret map. Together, the young duo joins forces with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) to make sure the Resistance receives the intelligence concerning the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the last of the Jedi Knights.
Yes, there are a few draggy moments, particularly the rather slow moving first half hour. And again, there might be too many recurring themes. It can feel like a daytime soap! How many times will we revisit paternity issues?
But overall, it is fun. And often, quite funny! And the actors appear to be having a great time. Daisy Ridley as Rey and John Boyega as Finn are wonderful new additions. These young actors are not your typical sci-fi action heroes and that's fantastic. And Adam Driver, often the only thing worth-watching about TV's entertaining but uneven "Girls", is an interesting and conflicted villain in the Darth Vader mold.
But Harrison Ford steals the show, reprising his role as Han Solo, and seemingly enjoying himself more than ever before. I can't remember Ford appearing to ever have this much fun on film. (Perhaps the rumored giant paycheck of at least $20 million plus a share in revenue has something to do with it. He apparently only made $10,000 for the original back in '77). Nevertheless, he is a joy to watch!
So for those who can look past the hokeyness -- and the weird sounds and movements of the many bizarre alien species -- you will find a film that is more enjoyable than many of those that populate the sci-fi genre today. Too many of those movies, especially the superhero action flicks, are so full of themselves, with their abundance of useless character and messages, and their brooding anti-heroes overflowing with cynicism. Rey and Finn aren't overburdened by their tasks, and are still filled with optimism and hope, even though "the force" against them is apparently so great. We usually only get this type of enthusiasm in sci-fi comedies like "Guardians of the Galaxy" or "Iron Man".
"The Force Awakens" is neither exceptionally dark nor exceptionally destructive. And it may even leave you feeling reenergized as you walk out of the theater. They don't really make movies like this anymore.
Can this new trilogy keep it up? I'm looking forward to finding out next year. Something I can't usually say about most promised sequels.
o Dwight Strachan is the host/producer of " Morning Blend" on Guardian Radio. He is a television producer and writer, and an avid TV history and film buff. Email dwight@nasguard.com and follow him on twitter@morningblend969.

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The trumpet shall sound

January 07, 2016

A concert by Crispian Steele-Perkins and Leslie Pearson opens The Nassau Music Society's 2016 concert season.
Steele-Perkins, the world's foremost exponent of the Baroque trumpet, will be accompanied by pianist Leslie Pearson for the two-day January 15-16 concert series.
As a soloist, Steele-Perkins' purity of tone and artistic subtlety have received widespread critical acclaim for more than four decades.
Steele-Perkins' famous trumpet has been heard on more than 80 classic film scores such as "Jaws", "Gandhi", "Star Wars - Episode IV", "Batman", "Monty Python's Life of Brian", and "Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers", and no less than six films from the James Bond series.
While his numerous solo recordings extend from Handel to Glenn Miller, he has featured regularly as a concert soloist in London at the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall, New York's Carnegie Hall, Boston's Symphony Hall, the Sydney Opera House and Tokyo's Suntory Hall. His largest live audience was 133,000 at the Edinburgh International Festival.
Pearson is one of Britain's most distinguished keyboard players. On the concert platform and in commercial studios, his performances and compositions have entertained millions -- most famously in the film "Four Weddings and a Funeral", the television series "Dr. Who", "Poirot" and "Lovejoy".
Pearson was the official keyboard player for the Philharmonic Orchestra for 40 years under Klemperer, Karijan, Mutti and Sir Simon Rattle.
His playing has received critical acclaim, particularly in Mutti's recording of Handel's "Water Music" with the Berlin Philharmonic, and in Vivaldi's "Four Seasons" with Henryk Szeryn, Gidon Kremer, Itzak Perlman and in collaborations with Steele-Perkins including "The English Trumpet" "The Regent's Bugle" and most recently they highly acclaimed "The Music of Gershwin" and "Movie Classics".
The two-day concerts take place Friday, January 15 at Government House Ballroom at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, January 16 at St. Paul's Church Hall, Lyford Cay at 7:30 p.m.
Steele-Perkins began playing the trumpet at the age of 10, and after training at the Guildhall School of Music in London, he became a member of the Sadler Wells Opera, the Royal Philharmonic and the English Chamber Orchestra.
Tickets are $30 members, $35 non-members and $10 students. For reservations, email nassaumusicsociety@coralwave.com, or telephone 322-7427.
Following Steele-Perkins and Pearson, the Quartetto Gelato (QG) will serve up music enthusiast favorites in February.
Virtuosic showpieces romantic tenor arias, pyrotechnical solos, blazing gypsy showpieces, multi-instrument mastery, and a world accordion champion is the QG.
The renowned multi-faceted ensemble featured on the Hollywood soundtrack "Only You", commands the stage with the dynamic rhythms of Latin America, virtuosic gypsy showpieces and beautiful Neapolitan songs.
Quartetto Gelato enthralls audiences with its mastery of multiple instruments, including a lush operatic tenor, acrobatic tricks and good-humored banter between songs. Concert patrons should expect a sizzling performance filled with lush lyricism and brilliant virtuosity.
QG's concerts will be held Saturday, February 20 at the College of The Bahamas Performing Arts Centre at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 21 at St. Paul's Church at 5:30 pm; the Sunday concert will be followed by a cocktail party.
The third concert on the season is scheduled for April and will feature virtuoso pianist Josu De Solaun.
Known to display sensitivity and finely measured power, the young Spanish pianist who is described as brilliant, has performed in distinguished concert series throughout the world and with famous orchestras such as the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra in St. Petersburg and New York's American Ballet Theatre Orchestra at the Metropolitant Opera.
De Solaun's two-day performances will take place April 2 at Government House at 7:30 p.m. and April 3 at St. Paul's Church Hall at 5:30 p.m.

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Sincerity is essential

January 07, 2016

Let me commence by asking you a simple but oh so important question here today. Upon reflection, would you say that you're a really sincere person in what you say and do daily? Well my friend, what's your honest answer to that important question? Now in all sincerity, pardon the pun, I do hope that your honest answer was indeed in the affirmative.
Why D. Paul, why do you think it's important to be sincere? Well as I state in today's title, I honestly feel that if you want to be able to build meaningful relationships with others, which let's face it is indeed vital if you wish to succeed in life, across the board, sincerity is essential, as people like to deal with and interact with people whom they feel are for real who are absolutely sincere when they state what they wish to do with their life.
Well I guess that I can indeed pretend to be someone who is sincere when I'm dealing with others so that I will in fact gain their trust -- oh yes! That's what you think. Whatever you do, don't ever forget, that you don't just communicate with others verbally, but you also communicate your feelings and emotions nonverbally. And my friend if you're not sincere in what you're saying to another believe me, they will pick up on the fact. Yes they will.
Yes indeed, sincerity is essential if you wish to succeed in life and continue to succeed. And my friend, sincerity -- real true sincerity is not something you can fake, believe me. Sincerity comes from deep within your soul and it's either there or it's not. So in conclusion, when dealing with others, make sure that they're sincere in what they state and believe in.

o Think about it!
Visit my website at: www.dpaulreilly.com.
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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Cable Bahamas price hike in February
Cable Bahamas price hike in February

January 07, 2016

Cable Bahamas Ltd. has announced that its newly approved 27 percent price hike for what was formerly its basic service will take effect next month.

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Contractors meet with works ministry, bill considered 'revolutionary'

January 07, 2016

Bahamas Contractor's Association (BCA) President Leonard Sands has confirmed that BCA and Ministry of Works officials met yesterday to continue work on the draft Contractors' Bill, and Sands characterized the meeting as a positive and productive one.

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Educator calls for 'drastic surgery' on education system

January 07, 2016

The Bahamas' education system needs "drastic surgery," according to Bahamian educator Dr. Candice L. Deal. At present a tenure track assistant professor of accounting at Eastern Connecticut State University, Deal says The Bahamas ought to create specialty schools to allow students to focus from high school on those career areas that hold their interest.

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Trini airline former CEO says ATRs 'not mission capable,' report says

January 07, 2016

As The Bahamas continues along the path of acquiring five aircraft to replace its aging fleet of Bombardier Dash 8s from French manufacturer Avions de Transport Régional (ATR) — at a cost of $100 million, borrowed from local banks — it appears that the CEO of another Caribbean airline that made the exact same choice has only very recently may have had second thoughts.

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Chamber CEO 'delighted' with 'smart island' disclosure

January 07, 2016

After having called for the establishment of a Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation CEO Edison Sumner welcomed the news that the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) intends to locate the first "smart island" in The Bahamas with enthusiasm.

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Officers in rape probe

January 06, 2016

A police constable and a Royal Bahamas Defence Force marine were arrested Tuesday night in connection with the alleged sexual assault of a woman in western New Providence, police revealed last night.

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Butler-Turner: Minister missed point of U.S. advisory

January 06, 2016

Long Island MP Loretta Butler-Turner yesterday contended that Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin missed the point regarding the controversy that has ensnared the local jet ski operations following the alleged rape of an American visitor.

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Jet Ski operators lament advisory

January 06, 2016

Several Jet Ski operators insisted yesterday that "licensed, professional" operators have been mischaracterized as rapists and expressed concern about a United States Embassy advisory which revealed that five U.S. citizens have allegedly been sexually assaulted by Jet Ski operators in the last year and a half.

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Man sent to prison for robbing American

January 06, 2016

A 37-year-old fisherman was yesterday sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment for breaking into an apartment rented by an American tourist on Paradise Island and stealing $2,275.

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Man sentenced to 10 months in prison for gun possession

January 06, 2016

A man convicted of possession of a loaded 9mm pistol was yesterday sentenced to 10 months in prison.

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McCartney says govt to blame for Jet Ski warning

January 06, 2016

Democratic National Alliance Leader Branville McCartney said yesterday that government inaction and a lack of enforcement are to blame for the U.S. Embassy's latest travel advisory on the dangers on the water sports industry in the country.

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