Nassau Guardian Stories
April 10, 2014
Name: Rochelle M. Rolle
Industry position: Head of compliance, executive director at Julius Baer Bank & Trust (Bahamas) Limited.
Education and training: Bachelor of business administration (with distinction), certified public accountant and successful completion of the ICA diploma in compliance and anti-money laundering.
What attracted you to the sector?
My initial attraction to the financial sector started in high school when I took courses in accounting. After completing a bachelor of business administration degree, with a concentration in accounting, I joined the former Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) and there, through interaction with my clients, I discovered the various career possibilities available in the industry and how essential it was to the Bahamian economy.
With the changes in the financial services sector during 2001 came the creation of this new position of compliance officer. Around the same time I was invited to join an institution in this capacity. It was a position that seemed both interesting and challenging because of its novelty and the responsibilities assigned to it. I therefore accepted the position.
How long have you been working?
I have been working in the financial sector since 1998, first as an accountant/auditor, then in 2001 as a financial and compliance officer with a Swiss bank. Since 2006 I have worked as head of compliance.
What keeps you motivated?
Well, there are several things that have kept me motivated throughout the years and continue to do so. First, the function that I perform is vital to ensuring that not only the good reputation of the company is maintained, but that of my country as well. Having an appreciation of this awesome responsibility energizes me to perform at the best of my ability at all times. Furthermore, I enjoy being a part of a dynamic team dedicated to the achievement of the company's goals and objectives. Knowing that others are depending on me, fuels me. Also, given this shifting industry, I am excited by the expectation of new and diverse challenges that create learning experiences. In my role, I am fortunate to have gained international exposure by working with colleagues on a global scale, allowing me to demonstrate the capabilities within The Bahamas. Finally, knowing that my function within the organization is appreciated by my employer, evidenced by my recent nomination as BFSB Professional of the Year 2014, keeps me motivated.
Why do you think you have been successful?
Of course all of the basic ingredients for success are important. These include hard work, commitment, diligence and enjoying what you do. However, I have added another secret ingredient, called lifelong learning. Because of the ever-changing environment of financial services, I have realized that professionals who stay abreast of the constant changes are the ones to succeed. Therefore, I am continually expanding my knowledge on various topics. Of utmost importance is the love and support of my family, who are always rooting for me.
Did mentoring play a part in your success?
Yes, mentoring has played a role for me. I credit my mentors with instilling in me the need for continuous education. Also, they have helped me to hone my professional skills by providing advice on work ethics, attitude and business acumen that they had gleaned from their years of experience.
Because of what I have gained through mentorship I see it as a responsibility to pay it forward and offer myself as a mentor to new joiners in the industry and often speak to those considering entering into the industry.
What qualifications do you feel are the most useful in helping you perform in the sector?
Given the dynamics and competitiveness of this industry a college degree with a professional qualification (e.g. CPA or CFA) is a must for entry level. However, one must keep in mind that as we venture into markets beyond The Bahamas, possessing a foreign language skill is the new normal. This, coupled with certain character traits such as a willingness to learn, openness to constructive criticism, attentiveness and versatility are bound to advance you in the industry.
Why is it important to encourage our youth to think of careers within financial services? Are there specific suggestions you have for sustaining or growing the financial services sector? What advice would you give young people just starting out in the industry?
Because financial services constitute the second most important sector of the Bahamian economy, it is important that we think of sustainability. In my opinion it can only be achieved by attracting young talent and encouraging them to enter this arena.
As the Bahamas Financial Services Board is charged with the responsibility of developing and promoting our financial services sector, it is important that it in turn seeks young talent and grooms them for this industry. My Swiss counterparts always speak about internship programs whereby young talent is identified from high school and groomed through on-the-job training and mentoring. We would do well to emulate them in this regard.
Throughout my career I have sought mentoring, inviting advice from seasoned, well-placed professionals in the industry. It is therefore advisable that they do the same. Seek out and align yourself with those individuals that have already made a mark in the industry. Familiarize yourself with the term "service excellence" and always be prepared to give this daily. Give your all to the task whether it is minute or daunting.
Continue to invest in your future. Keep learning and seeking new challenges that would expose you to new learning experiences. This also requires you to measure your qualifications against the industry's needs, and seek to bridge those gaps.
Finally, master a second language commensurate to the market needs. Study the industry to determine its market focus and learn the language and culture of that market.
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April 10, 2014
The Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) participated in the annual Hedge Fund Brazil Forum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on April 3-4.
Described as Brazil's premier public equity investor event, the Hedge Fund Brazil Forum, in fact, is Latin America's most specialized international meeting of hedge funds, long-only funds, Brazilian pension funds, Latin American pension funds, Latin American family offices and global endowments, foundations, sovereign wealth funds and pension funds.
The program delivers cutting edge due diligence for investors and managers alike on key questions such as hedge fund asset allocation among Brazilian as well as global pension funds, E&F, family offices and fund of funds, hedge fund regulation in Brazil and key considerations in operational and manager due diligence and economic and hedge fund strategy trends in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Mexico, Chile and Peru.
As a sponsor, BFSB also had the opportunity to field a promotional exhibit during the three-day event.
BFSB CEO Aliya Allen said, "Our sponsorship and participation in this conference is in line with the consistent interest and business opportunities we are seeing from Brazil. Brazilian multimarket funds are being transformed from inward-looking domestic focused to alpha-seeking investments abroad. Managers are trying to offer more globalized structures and strategies so that clients have access to international diversification. Brazil is just a small part of this and it is clear that the strategies will continue to incorporate international diversification utilising competitive jurisdictions like The Bahamas."
Commenting on statistics released by the Securities Commission of The Bahamas, Allen pointed out that the 25 percent growth in SMART Funds is not an outlier; it is indicative of the growth potential The Bahamas has in the funds business largely driven by demand in Latin America. She added, "A few major BFSB projects this year will build upon this demand, including the new legislation we've been working on steadily since the middle of last year."
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April 10, 2014
Some things just don't seem to be on the cards or fall into place when we want a particular thing to happen quickly in this shifting real estate market.
If you have an apartment or home that you've outgrown, or that costs too much to maintain, and on top of that, the market may be too soft for a sale, you may want to consider transitioning that property into an income producing one.
This might just be the right time to join others who have bypassed appealing to the local market and instead, have focused on securing a rental with those in the international market.
In my opinion, many Europeans appear to prefer vacationing in a private home as opposed to hotel, and, for them, in most instances it's a whole lot cheaper. Aside from that, it is suited to what they're looking for while they maximize their vacation experience.
For a prospective landlord, it is profitable because you are able to receive top dollar for the rental on a short term basis and those tenants won't be on property 24 hours a day because they will want to explore the island.
Top dollar may be relative, based on the amenities you are able to offer, such as whether it's on or very near to the beach, vehicle rentals and meals. Those are things you may want to consider, if you want to be competitive and a viable option - people are always looking for a bargain.
There are websites that cater to this mega business like www.homeaway.com and www.airbnb.com, which, for a small fee, will provide pictures and the amenities you offering, with the benefit of regular traffic to your rental property.
Obviously, the better experience your guests have, the more chances you have of them telling their friends about the wonderful experience in that vacation home in The Bahamas.
This may be something Family Island residents may also want to consider or potentially consider linking it closer to a bed and breakfast experience. Tailor the rental project to your specifications and what you think will provide the best returns.
It goes without saying that your place should be spotless with everything in proper working condition.
It would be nice to stock the fridge with drinking water and other essentials until your guest are able to make it to the food store to purchase their own grocery items. Additionally, a list of attractions with things to do, public transport and basic safety guidelines is not a bad idea either.
So, be that roving ambassador, make some extra cash, and possibly earn some life-long friends in the process.
o William Wong is the co-partner at Darville- Wong Realty. He was also a two-term president of The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and The Bahamas Real Estate Association. Questions or comments can be emailed to William@wongsrealty.com.
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April 10, 2014
It seems whenever the country experiences a spate of senseless murders or an uptick in violent incidents, a familiar question is repeated: What is the church doing to stop crime?
Many believe religious leaders should take a more public role in denouncing criminal activity by stepping down from their pulpits and "taking action" on the issue.
However, one prominent man of God, Bishop Simeon Hall, believes Bahamians need to stop pointing fingers at the church over the crime problem and redirect their fury towards lawmakers and the judiciary.
Hall said church leaders are doing their part to prevent crime, but lamented the fact that spiritual leaders can only try to influence people to use their moral compasses, but do not have the power to limit the grant of bail to repeat offenders or hand down sentences that would deter criminals.
"Churches, I think, should continue to give direction and emphasis to the sacredness of human life, and not only in terms of how we ought to act kindly towards each other, but how we should respect that all life is God-given," Hall told Guardian Religion.
"But the minute crime takes an upward trend, people ask what the church is doing.
"The church does not have the last word in terms of what should happen to criminals. That is a political and judicial thing.
"Pastors raise issues, but in the long run all we say is, 'Thus said the Lord.'
"What we are going to do with crime is everybody's business."
Hall chastised politicians for using crime as a political football during election season but not doing more in Parliament, after the votes have been cast, to stem violence and murder.
He noted the impact that people who have been granted bail, although charged with serious offenses, have on society.
"The commissioner [of police] has been lamenting that criminals who have done several crimes before and yet they are out on bail," Hall said. "The lawyers and the judiciary are who determine who gets bail. You need to ask them what are they doing about crime. All the church can do is pray."
Hall also believes that parents of wayward teens who turn to crime should be held accountable for their transgressions and prosecuted when their children run afoul of the law.
Hall also cited the recent murder of a 15-year-old girl who was shot in the head outside a Grand Bahama night club and said the owners of the establishment and the girl's parents should be made to answer questions about the teen's whereabouts before her death.
"We want to be sensitive to that family, but every family in this country should be held responsible for the children under the age of 18, and we could put a serious dent in crime," Hall said. "The things that we should do to put a major dent in crime we don't do because they don't help us when it's time to vote."
He added that the government seems to be afraid to institute the "draconian" measures that are needed to fight crime because they would not be popular with the electorate.
Hall suggested that judges should give out sentences of community service for minor crimes which include "public shaming" such as wearing a sign that denotes the crime a person committed instead of jail sentences as a crime deterrent.
"Going to jail puts them on a downward path that they never sometimes get off," Hall said. "[We need to do] the things that I believe it takes to put a serious dent in crime. We cannot expect lawyers to lead the fight against crime because lawyers make money off of crime."
A British man who lived in Canada was killed on Tuesday. The victim, 56-year-old Edgar George Dart of Winnipeg, was shot and killed during a home invasion on Tuesday in Emerald Bay, Grand Bahama.
The incident marked Grand Bahama's fourth killing in 10 days and the sixth on that island for the year.
There were 31 murders in the country up to Tuesday.
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April 10, 2014
He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"
I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know."
Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord."
- Ezekiel 37: 3-10
During this Lenten walk, you will have moments when things will not go the way you prefer. You will have days when you will feel boxed in with no way out. Depending upon your situation, you will want to just give up and take the easy way out.
That is what the Devil will have you do. He takes you down some lonely and untraveled back roads of life. He gives you the feeling of desperation and hopelessness.
Our text tells us that the spirit of the Lord took the prophet Ezekiel into a valley filled with dry bones. This valley of dry bones depicted lifelessness and hopelessness.
The Spirit of the Lord asked him a question: "Son of man, can these bones live?" What a question! Under normal circumstances, dry bones cannot be put back together again.
What do you do when you are in a valley of dry bones? Where do you go?
The spirit of the Lord had taken Ezekiel into this valley because he wanted to send a message to his people, the children of Israel. At the time, the Israelites were held captive in Babylon. Their captors taunted and ridiculed them and their God.
Consequently, they began to lose hope, thinking that God had abandoned them. Therefore, they lamented, "They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.'"
That is the way many people feel when they have crisis. When it appears that nothing can be done, some people just make the ultimate decision and end their lives.
You probably have been in such a valley during your life. There probably were times when you felt that you would never rise above your burdens; maybe it was the death of a loved one, or family issues, or your own illness, or the loss of your job, or just financial setbacks.
The people of God were in a difficult situation. They lived amongst pagan people who were saying terrible things about their God. They had lost hope.
Therefore, the Lord took Ezekiel into a valley where there seemed to be no hope, especially for those dry bones. Then he asked him, "Son of man, can these bones live?"
The human answer to that question is no. Dry bones cannot live because they are already dead. However, with God all thing are possible; God can make the impossible possible. The Lord instructed Ezekiel to prophesy to the bones. As he did, the bones became alive again, making the impossible possible.
In bringing those bones in the valley to life, God was telling the people of Israel that they should not worry about the things which their enemies were saying about them and their God. He is God and he never abdicates or abrogates his responsibility. He is always God and he will always stand by his people.
This is also a message to Christians: when you are down and feeling low, when you are in the valley and surrounded by dry bones, don't lose hope. Call on the name of God. Give Jesus a try and he will pick you up. He will stand by your side and walk with you. He will not let you stand alone.
Jesus has the power to raise us from the boneyard of life. When we think that all is lost and there is no way out, we have a friend in Jesus. He has the power to lift us up from any dilemma in which we find ourselves. Amen.
o Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, Pastor The Lutheran Church of Nassau, P. O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bah. Phone: 426-9084 E-mail: email@example.com, Website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.
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April 10, 2014
As I have relayed to you my valued readers in some other article recently, I have been watching Dr. Wayne Dyer as he delivered his most recent lecture series on PBS Television titled 'I can see clearly now', which incidentally is also the title of his latest book, which you may care to get a copy of as I'm quite sure it's full of Spiritual Insight and Great Wisdom, as were all of his previous books many of which I have in my library. Now one of the things which Dr. Dyer is placing great emphasis on in this series, and in his book, is the need for compassion in a person's life. I guess compassion is an integral part of being truly loving to one and all.
Now when addressing this subject Dr. Dyer stated that some people always seem to have a desperate need to prove to everyone that they're right. In fact, he gave some quite humorous examples of how he himself used to insist on letting people know that he was right. However, as he matured and acquired a certain amount of wisdom coupled with spiritual insight, he began to realize, that being right all the time was not that important in the overall scheme of things, and that it was much more important to be kind, loving and compassionate when dealing with others, and in particular in personal relationships.
My Friend, you may be right and your Spouse or Significant Other may be wrong, dead wrong... so what, do you always have to jump on them, figuratively speaking, and make them fully aware of the fact that they're wrong, or are you just going to let it ride, as the saying goes? Dr. Dyer summed his thoughts up on this subject when he said 'Be Right or Kind'.
Now, let me ask you an important question. Do you always have to be right when dealing with others?... Well do you? If the answer is yes to that important question, you My Friend may very well have low self-esteem. Yes indeed, people who have a bad self-image so often have a desperate need always to be right and thus be able to be in control of every situation and the people involved.
So My Friend, in conclusion, if you've got high self-esteem, and if you're spiritually mature and wise, even though someone may in fact be wrong; why don't you just ignore it and thus allow the other person to keep their dignity intact, even though they may be wrong. Really, in the overall scheme of things, which is more important, to keep the relationship alive, or for you to proclaim that you're right and they're wrong?
oThink 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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April 10, 2014
During the Easter season, Pastor James and Lady Queenie Newry, as well as the leadership and congregation of Calvary Deliverance Church on East Street South has something to bless everyone in the family who wishes to partake of the new things that God is doing. On Wednesday, April 16 at 7:00 p.m., the church is inviting persons to fellowship together in remembrance of the sacrificial things the Lord has done for all of us, in a spirit-filled communion service, where the Lord's Supper will be administered and washing of the feet will be done. On Good Friday, April 18 at 10:00 a.m., attendees will be touched by the seven last sayings of Jesus, presented by seven powerful speakers. Attendees will also enjoy and be uplifted by performances of Calvary Deliverance Church's Fine Arts Dance Ministry and the angelic voices of its anointed singers.
The first speaker, Sister Sherry Morris, will speak on the topic "Father Forgive Them". Brother Dwayne Mortimer will address the topic, "Today Thou Shalt Be With Me". Brother Neville Evans will explore the topic, "Woman Behold Thy Son"; Sister Garcia Sherman will speak on the topic, "My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?". Sister Judith Whyms' topic will be, "I Thirst". Elder Meredith Munroe's topic will be, "It Is Finished" and Elder Lena Pratt will address the topic, "Father Into Thy Hands I Commend My Spirit".
Exclusively for young girls 5-16 there will be a "Daughters With A Purpose" two-day retreat on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 22 and 23 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Lunch will be served and the young ladies will learn arts & crafts, ethics and engage in great social and spiritual fellowship.
In addition, join the church as it celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday, April 20, during its 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services.
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April 10, 2014
There are many who are making a decision to get divorced because staying in their marriages would be more painful than getting out. While divorce is not ideal, it is oftentimes necessary and the wise thing to do. However, before someone makes a decision to divorce, that person should objectively take a look at the relationship, its weaknesses and strengths, and the possibility of partners changing to make a difference. More importantly, no one should seek divorce before getting help through professional counseling. The counselor can take each individual and/or the couple through the journey of insight, change, and healing. Remember, even if divorce is inevitable, the individuals should make sure that the reasons for the divorce would be dealt with to avoid taking it into another relationship. This is extremely important, even if you think you have done nothing wrong in the marriage. Far too many individuals drag the same habits into a new relationship and wonder why they are always "choosing the wrong person." Just how couples spend countless hours planning for marriage, the same should be for getting a divorce. Do not jump blindly into it, even if you are in great pain.
The marriage vow "for better or for worse" suggests that marriage involves a commitment to a positive adjustment. Mental health professionals express the view that divorce should also involve the same. Fifteen years ago I shared this point on the subject: "As a marriage and family therapist, my goal is to help partners strengthen their ability to communicate and negotiate. This is to preserve the relationship. On the other hand, the new concept of divorce therapy is to work toward a dissolution of the relationship in such a way as to enhance well-being." There is not much literature in the field of divorce therapy. However, most authors agree that divorce has three stages. Dr. Douglas Sprenkle in his article, "The Clinical Practice of Divorce Therapy" presents three stages of divorce: Pre-divorce decision making, divorce restructuring and post-divorce recovery. Dr Sprenkle presents a psychological "to do list" to help in the treatment process of divorce:
1. Accept the end of the marriage. The cornerstone of long-term adjustment is accepting that one is not, and will no longer be, married to one's ex-spouse.
2. Achieve a functional post divorce relationship with the ex-spouse. This entails "making peace" with the ex-spouse. While an ongoing relationship is unnecessary, if there are no children, parents must be capable of separating parental and spousal roles.
3. Achieve a reasonable emotional adjustment. While divorce inevitably entails negative emotional consequences, it is important that divorcees not get stuck in long-term self-blame, guilt or anger.
4. Develop an understanding of their own contributions to the dysfunctional behavior that led to the failure of the marriage. Awareness of personal responsibility, ways in which the marital struggle may be linked to "family of origin" issues, and reasons for choice of mate are issues that are fruitfully pursued.
5. Find sources of social support. The divorcee needs to develop formal and informal contacts with individuals and groups who provide emotional support or material resources, while escaping the temptation to deny stress by developing another premature intimate relationship.
6. Help their children adjust to the loss without triangulating them or nourishing unrealistic expectations. Parents should learn the dos and don'ts of child management.
7. Use the crisis of divorce as an opportunity for learning and personal growth.
8. Negotiate the legal process in a way both feel is reasonably equitable.
9. Develop physical, health, and personal habits consistent with adjustment for anyone. This includes issues related to dealing with alcohol and drugs, sleep, eating habits, hygiene and grooming, decision making, job performance, and financial management.
Following these suggestions can help ease the pain of divorce. It is important for newly-divorced individuals or persons who are going through a divorce to know that they should avoid getting intimately involved with someone of the opposite sex for at least two years. Divorce is very painful, and it leaves the individual very vulnerable. If one enters a relationship prematurely, there is a great risk that their sexual and other physical needs will be mistaken for their real needs such as security, acceptance, having someone who cares and understands, and companionship. Finding true friends during this time is most important. One must realize that the friends with whom you share your deep pain can be someone of the same sex. A newly-divorced woman crying on the shoulders of a "caring man" exhibits a high-risk behavior. There is a fifty-fifty chance that he will take advantage of her vulnerability. There are too many divorcees who become sexually active within weeks after the death of a spouse simply because it is "comforting." A year later, they wake from a nightmare of pain and confusion after discovering that they were only being used. Once again, avoid emotional entanglements immediately after divorce. This will certainly help to ease the pain.
Psychologist Constance Ahrons explains that "the most grueling disruptions occur during the first three transitions - the decision, the announcement, and the separation. Deciding to divorce, telling your spouse and your family, and leaving your mate form the core of the emotional experience. These three transitions are characterized by ambivalence, ambiguity, power struggles, soul searching and stress. Even childless partners feel out of control and crazy during these initial transitions."
What should a person going through a divorce discuss with the lawyer? Here are a few ideas:
1. Custodial arrangements for the children;
2. Visitation/parenting time;
3.Children medical, dental, hospital and pharmaceutical expenses;
4. Child support 5) Ex-spousal support;
6. Division of real estate, transfers, and deeds;
7. Dealing with debts. 8) Automobiles;
9. Restoration of prior maiden name;
10. Lawyer fees, or any other expert fees;
11. Life insurance policies as protection for child support payments and property payments in the event of death;
12. College education for children and/or spouse;
13. Payments of summer camps and/or religious training and/or upbringing or other special situations involving children.
It is imperative that persons going through divorce do not bottle up their feelings. Usually newly divorced women discuss the feelings freely. On the other hand men are more likely to hide their feelings into workaholism and drinking. The divorce experience is a shocking experience to all. It is a loss of status, lost of shared life, loss of a dream, and loss of income. All of these losses are equivalent to the literal death of a loved one. Therefore, the person going through a divorce must allow for grief and suffering.
After all is over, a divorced person is a normal individual with all the basic needs and functions as any other human being. It would a great advantage for the divorcee to seek professional counseling to ease the pain and shock of the new life.
o Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist and board certified clinical psychotherapist, USA. Send your questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas, or visit www.soencouragement.org or call 242-327-1980 or 242-477-4002.
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April 10, 2014
Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's. - 2 Chronicles 20:15
How many times do we become concerned about the fears of life especially when we know that we are doing all that God expects us to do? How many times the "who's" of life try their best to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus? But in spite of this, we are not to be dismayed, for the battle is not ours, but the Lord's.
Life in itself is a battle - fightings within and fears without, confront us each and every day; not to speak of what is going on around us. You say the word 'battle' and everyone gets, or should get, the message, for there is no such thing as a 'draw.' Someone has to be the victor and the other the victim, and to the victor go the spoils.
I believe it was an airline magazine on a trip sometime ago, that I came across this simple equation: n+(n+2)+(n+4)=105. Give this to a group of high school students and many of them would be able to solve it. Learning is so great because it does not matter how many years one is out of school, what was learned there remains, or should remain, in one's memory. As I looked at the equation, my mind went beyond what was written, but to the fact that the solution was in the equation. The solution is in putting things in order, the n's are placed together and the numbers in their place - so, (n+n+n)+(2+4) =105; thus 3n+6+105. But it does not stop there for the number 6 must now be subtracted from 105 - n has a value of 33.
Indeed in every sad, confusing and perplexing situation if we truly remain still, God is in it!!
In this 20th chapter to 2 Chronicles it begins with gloomy news after a wonderful charge had been given to the people of Judah by King Jehoshaphat: "Deal courageously, and the Lord shall be with the good." But whenever there is goodness ahead prepare for tough times. It came to pass after this also, that the children of Moab, and the children of Ammon, and with them others, beside the Ammonites, came against Jehoshaphat to battle. Then there came some that told Jehoshaphat, saying, there cometh a great multitude against thee from beyond the sea on this side Syria, and behold, they be in Hazazontamar, which is Engedi. And Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself to see the LORD and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah. Praying to God for deliverance from the enemy, God answered and said "Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude: for the battle is not yours, but God's."
Why should we be fearful of what doomsayers would say and people with no faith prognosticate? Why should we as a people, or you as an individual fold up your tent because of the enemy? Know ye not that the Lord God, your creator, is at the helm of the ship of your life and, no matter how rough the seas, he is the master navigator.
Sure there are those who would come to steal, kill and destroy national agendas destined for the poor, needy and marginalized. But when God has something for you, or for a nation, it will reach its destiny. Our victory as a people will not be achieved by political strategy, wishful thinking, tricks, scheme, brain-washing, dollar dishing, badmouthing and stealing other people's ideas and plans, but by becoming the people that God would be pleased with.
Yes, dear and faithful readers, whatever the battle may be in your lives, turn it over to God and claim the victory for anyone who comes in the name of the Lord will be truly blessed!
o E-mail email@example.com write to P.O. Box 19725 SS Nassau, Bahamas with your prayer requests, concerns and comments. God's Blessings!
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April 10, 2014
Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful - 1 Corinthians 4.
Things were not working out as Jimmy had anticipated. His wife, Olga, had gone back to work, but they were still not making ends meet. He decided to approach her about the problem. "Olga, we need to do something about these bills," he said. "I think that it's about time you stop spending all of your money on clothes and the beautician. The credit card bill just came in and the charges are up again this month. And you are still planning that shopping trip to Miami. Just look, school fees are due; these children are going to end up in government school."
"Why didn't you think about that before you decided to buy that fancy SUV?" Olga responded. "Yes, I used the charge card. I had to buy some better clothes for work, only because I'm tired of wearing a uniform. You think people should see me in the same outfit more than once? Don't forget the SUV is a gas hog - that's taking most of the money. And now you central air the house and all of a sudden you forget you come out of the bush in Inagua and you keep that burning. No one fixes lunch to carry anymore - its now cash for lunch, for me, you and the children. I use to send the baby to my mummy to keep, but no, having raised me she, for some unknown reason, can't keep our little one during the day. Then don't forget you went and bought me a car, because it is now too inconvenient to have one car. That means an additional car payment every month."
Dwight and Angela are having marital problems stemming from difficulties in managing their personal finances. Dwight earns approximately $40,000 a year as a manager of a local charter company. For the past 15 years of marriage, Angela's main responsibility has been to care for their four children and to manage the household.
Approximately 10 years ago, Dwight encouraged Angela to take a job (paying $11,000 a year) outside the home to earn extra money to buy a washer and a dryer. Instead of improving the situation, however, her working seems to have caused more difficulties within the family. It appears as though the family has less disposable income now than before Angela started to work.
This is a common scenario that is being played out thousands of times across the country. The average income earned by the typical Bahamian family with both parents working is about $30,000 per year. Nevertheless, many of these families live from pay check to pay check, spending everything they earn to keep afloat. I know of couples making $80,000 per year who could not live debt free on what they earn. The more money they earn, the more money they tend to spend. They are in financial bondage. These very people cannot reach out to their parents in Cat Island by sending a single box to them on the mail boat at least once per month. Their parents languish in squalor conditions on Long Island, and yet they cannot include them in their budget. Old homesteads, where many first saw the light of day, fall into ruins almost unbeknown to many riding high on the hog in New Providence. Yet when going to home coming, they must compete for limited hotel rooms. Siblings, although blessed by this world's wealth, cannot reach out to share that blessing with another sibling who knocks on the door of medical and social need. The average Bahamian family goes deeply into debt by spending more than it earns. They render themselves impotent to the legitimate cries around them.
Many families find themselves in the same position as Dwight and Angela. Even when both husband and wife work, families usually find that their spending increases faster than their income.
The key to solving this dilemma, yes, is good financial counseling and to apply biblical stewardship to your finances. It's not the amount you have but what you do with what you have that counts. The stewardship principle is being faithful with what you have, starting where you are. As you demonstrate your faithfulness with small amounts of money, God will give you more. If you don't properly manage a small income, you won't be able to manage a larger income. Biblical stewardship is the key to success with God.
Churches in The Bahamas must be sensitive to this dilemma in our land. Bahamians are in financial bondage and cry for deliverance. What do we do? Our unions must ease up on their squabbles and educate its members as to the exodus out of this living hell that devours them. There is no evidence of adequate leadership been given by church, unions, etc. in this so crippling reality of national life.
Let me repeat: The way to gain wealth in God's financial system is to be good stewards. This entails much education, counseling and good old common sense. The average Bahamian family is already trapped and awaits deliverance. We must advance where our people stand on the assurance that money can work for them, as a servant - not a master, and it can yield fruit a hundred, and even, a thousandfold.
o Reverend Canon S. Sebastian Campbell is the rector at St. Gregory's Anglican Church.
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April 10, 2014
Pastor James Newry, Lady Queenie Newry and the leadership and family of Calvary Deliverance Church, on East Street South, extends a warm invitation for you to join them during their 21st annual Women of Integrity Conference.
The conference will occur from April 28-30. Speakers will include Dr. Samantha Phillips, from Orlando Florida; Dr. Taketa Williams, from Jacksonville, Florida, and conference host Lady Queenie Newry. Service times will be on Monday and Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. Monday to Wednesday lecture sessions will convene at 7 p.m. with Audrey Marie Deveaux from The Cancer Society of The Bahamas; Gigi Mackey and Tracee Lightbourne, inspectors from the National Insurance Board, followed at 7:30 p.m. by a dynamic prophetic encounter worship service. The Women of Integrity Conference's theme is "Don't allow your dreams to die, for God is doing a new thing".
Should you require further information about the church or its planned activities, please feel free to contact the church's office at telephone numbers (242) 325-1802 or (242) 323-3135.
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April 10, 2014
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Relays are approaching fast, and the Bahamas government and local partners - known as "friends of the event" - are doing their all to ensure that it is a success.
"People often say that this is the biggest sporting event to ever happen in The Bahamas, but I always tell them that it's not just a sporting event, but one of the biggest events in general to ever come to the country," said Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Chairman Keith Parker.
The inaugural IAAF World Relay Championships is set for May 24-25, at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.
The friends of the event were introduced to the public yesterday at the stadium. Some of them include Jemi Health and Wellness, Thompson's Trading, Mario's Bowling and Entertainment Palace, Senor Frogs, SuperClubs Breezes, BCG Ltd., Sports Radio, The Nassau Guardian and Cash N' Go Bahamas.
"We have almost 50 countries that said yes. They are coming down for the relays, so that means we can expect at least 1,000 athletes, as well as their coaches and other staff, which could bring up to almost 1,300 persons per nation," said IAAF World Relays Senior Director of Marketing Kathy Ingraham. "Hopefully the effect of having all of these people present can trickle down to our economy."
The economic boost that The Bahamas is set to receive from hosting the relays is significant. Hotels will be filled to capacity at a time that is usually slow for them, especially the ones closer to the stadium, but not only the hotels will benefit from the relays. Businesses all around the island are expected to receive a financial boost from the traffic that the relays will bring in.
Ingraham and her marketing team are well aware of the kind of boost the relays can provide to the Bahamian economy, and are working tirelessly to ensure the word gets out about the event. They have invested in radio advertisements on most major stations, as well as television and newspaper advertising as well. Billboards will be put up around the entire island as well as on the Family Islands within the next week.
Athlete profiles will be a part of the advertisement for the event; the profiles will include both Bahamian athletes as well as others from the participating nations.
The friends of the event were also introduced to Breezy, the official mascot of the World Relays. Known by its Nassau Grouper head, Breezy is the mascot designed by 14-year-old Kirshon Smith, a ninth grade student at Temple Christian High School.
Manager of the National Sports Authority (NSA) Jeffrey Beckles gave the sponsors and partners a tour of the stadium yesterday to show them the progression of the work that is being done, assuring them that the stadium will be completed in time for the relays. The supporters also got a chance to view the section of the stadium that has been specially dedicated to the friends of the event, where they can enjoy comfortable spectatorship, complete with complimentary refreshments.
The track is coming along well, and the painting of the surrounding buildings has commenced. The painting on the inside of the stadium is due to begin within the coming days.
Ticket sales are exceeding expectations; both Bahamians and international visitors have purchased tickets early, leaving space at the stadium very limited. Those who want to attend and have not yet purchased their tickets are advised to do so as soon as possible.
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April 10, 2014
This is the official statement from the Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission (BADC), with respect to the doping violation committed by track athlete Trevorano Mackey.
"Mr. Mackey participated at the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) Nationals, held in Freeport, Grand Bahama, on June 22, 2013. In the lead-up to the actual meet, he was one of a number of athletes who were selected for sample collection and random testing as a part of the BADC's program for testing of athletes at national and international events.
"We received notification of an 'adverse analytical finding' from our lab in Montreal, Canada, with regard to Mr. Mackey's 'A' sample on July 19, 2013. Mr. Mackey was notified of this finding and advised of his right to have his 'B' sample also analyzed, in the event he felt that the results of the 'A' sample analysis were incorrect. Mr. Mackey requested the further analysis, which he was required to pay for and the 'B' sample was subsequently analyzed.
"On August 22, 2013, the BADC received a second adverse analytical finding following the analysis of the 'B' sample. This confirmed the results of the 'A' sample and the matter was then forwarded to the Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission's Disciplinary Panel for a hearing. Mr. Mackey was found to have tested positive for the substance 'Nandrolone'.
"The Disciplinary Committee met on October 21, 2013, and after hearing submissions from Mr. Mackey and his representatives, concluded that: It is our view that the applicant (Mr. Mackey) has failed to establish that there was a departure from the International Standard of the conduct of sample analysis which could have caused an adverse analytical finding to rebut the presumption of the accuracy of the relevant findings. That being so, we find that the applicant is in violation of an anti-doping rule under Article 2.1 of the rules. With respect to sanctioning, the panel recommended that the applicant be reprimanded and that no further period of ineligibility from future events should be imposed.
"Once a copy of the report from the disciplinary panel was submitted to the Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission, questions were raised by BADC about the level of sanctioning, particularly since the rules contained provisions for a minimum suspension of two years in cases when athletes test positive for substances on the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) banned list. An appeal was, therefore, lodged by BADC with the Caribbean Regional Anti-Doping Organization (RADO), since there was no local Appeals Tribunal in place at the time.
"Upon review of the submission from BADC, the Caribbean RADO concluded that it had no jurisdiction to hear the matter, since the Bahamas Anti-Doping in Sports Act provides for such appeals to be heard by a local appeals tribunal. Subsequent to this, the BADC then appealed to WADA, which responded as follows: We have carefully reviewed the case of Mr. Mackey in light of the decision rendered by the RADO Disciplinary Panel and it seems that there would not be any possible recourse for BADC against the decision rendered by its Disciplinary Panel or by RADO. We would advise BADC to take note of the various comments made about the decision in the course of the review process and would further encourage BADC to work as quickly as possible on the creation of its national appeals tribunal. This would indeed prevent future potential appeals from having to go to CAS".
"Steps are being taken to have a local appeals tribunal ratified by the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture. The previous appeals tribunal was disbanded with the resignation of certain key members at the end of its first year of existence. In view of the above, the BADC now considers this matter closed."
- Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission
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April 10, 2014
Hope Center, Macedonia, Eagle's Nest and Men of Vision all emerged as the winners of their respective games as the Baptist Sports Council (BSC) played one of its men's best-of-three playoffs on Tuesday night at the D.W. Davis Gymnasium. Hope Center had to go to overtime before they pulled off a 48-45 decision over Church of the Nazarene; Macedonia knocked off Cousin McPhee 53-42; Eagle's Nest pounded Evangelistic Center 44-29; and Men of Vision had to go to overtime as well for a 53-52 win.
Game two of the four series will be played tonight at the D.W. Davis Gym.
Hope Center 48, Church of Nazarene 45 - Overtime
Jackson Jacob canned a game-high 28 points as the President Division's second place team Hope Center got the initial win. Perry Lubin had 19 in the loss for third place Church of Nazarene.
Macedonia 53, Cousin McPhee 42
Delano Knowles pumped in 15 points as Macedonia held on for the win for the President Division's pennant winners. Shaquille Bain matched Knowles' effort with 15 as well in a losing effort for the fourth place Cousin McPhee team.
Eagles Nest 44, Evangelistic Center 29
Cordero Thompson scored 11 points to pace the Vice President's second place team Eagle's Nest to victory. Deangelo Griffin had a game-high 15 points for the third place Evangelistic Center.
Men of Vision 53, BIBA 52 - Overtime
Jason Cooper scored 13 points, including the game-winning basket with 0.5 seconds left on the clock for the win for the Vice President's pennant winners. The game was tied 42-42 at the end of regulation. Val Williams had a game-high 23 points for BIBA.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
7:00 p.m. - Eagles Nest vs. Evangelistic Center
8:00 p.m. - Men of Vision vs. BIBA
9:00 p.m. - Hope Center vs. Church of Nazarene
10:00 p.m. - Macedonia vs. Cousin McPhee
Saturday, April 12, 2014 (games start at 10 a.m.)
Cousin McPhee vs. BIBA (15-and-under)
St. John's vs. Macedonia (15-and-under)
Eagle's Nest 'B' vs. Macedonia 'B' (19-and-under)
Eagle's Nest 'A' vs. Macedonia 'A' (19-and-under)
Cousin McPhee vs. BIBA (15-and-under)
St. John's vs. Macedonia (15-and-under)
Eagle's Nest 'B' vs. Macedonia 'B' (19-and-under)
Eagle's Nest 'A' vs. Macedonia 'A' (19-and-under)
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April 10, 2014
We appear on the verge of an extraordinary betrayal of the Bahamian people, made even more heart-wrenching because it is at the hands of our very own, not those of slave masters and colonial rulers.
It is a betrayal of various core principles of the second emancipation of majority rule, of a certain promise of independence, and a betrayal of the poor and the middle class.
Instead of a national or public lottery benefitting significantly more Bahamians, the incumbent government seems hell-bent on regularizing/legalizing a privately owned lottery system in which the majority of the profits accrue to already wealthy numbers barons, with the government receiving some funds from taxing the private lottery.
Regularizing a private lottery will be one of the greatest legalized mass transfers of wealth from the poor and middle class to the wealthy in an independent Bahamas.
Imagine if the old guard had concocted a scheme pre-1967 to establish a private lottery in which the overwhelming bulk of the proceeds went to certain benefactors and fat cats at the expense of poorer and middle-class Bahamians.
One can imagine the progressives in the PLP of that day pressing hard for a national lottery in order to benefit the mass of Bahamians.
Sadly, the new guard in the PLP is now acting like the old guard. The poor and middle class are secondary at best. Clearly the PLP oligarchy is more committed to serving its own greedy economic interests at the expense of the Bahamian people.
If the PLP proceeds with its private lottery scheme, history will record that this betrayal of the common good by private greed was led by Perry Gladstone Christie and the new guard oligarchs.
The betrayal is breathtaking given our history and the great needs of our still developing country 40 years after independence. We will have come full circle with the PLP becoming the face of the very thing it fought against in the struggle for majority rule. The very party which preached social justice seems set to turn its back on the poor, handing wealthy numbers barons millions more.
A private lottery is good old right wing economics which might find favor in the U.S. Republican party, not something one might expect of a party which bills itself as progressive and liberal.
To understand the moment is to appreciate our Bahamian journey and narrative as well as to be seized by the possibilities of a national lottery for national development.
Enduring slavery and colonial rule, the mass of Bahamians enjoyed scant political and economic freedom. Still, the descendants of slaves struggled for both, creating civic, economic, religious and eventually political organizations as a means of empowerment and expression.
The struggle for economic survival and advancement was hard and fraught for the majority of black Bahamians. With little access to financial capital they leveraged the capital they possessed such as ingenuity, hard work and communal ties.
Early on, this involved institutions like the asue or sou-sou, an informal savings arrangement derived from an African-based system of cooperation.
The story of the flowering of black entrepreneurship, especially Over-the-Hill, is still to be written in greater detail. These stories of risk-taking and ingenuity contradict the lie by some that black Bahamians were not possessed of various entrepreneurial gifts.
Since majority rule and independence there has been a flourishing of the middle class, especially of black Bahamians. In 40 years of independence the country has made great strides in terms of economic empowerment for scores of Bahamians.
Still, there remains much to be done to empower more Bahamians economically including greater access to capital for entrepreneurs to help stimulate domestic and home-grown investment. A national lottery would be a source of significant capital to help stimulate domestic development.
Today, many in the middle class are struggling with the proverbial Bahamian dream especially after the Great Recession of 2008 and the resulting new normal of an economic landscape marked by slower growth and significant challenges in the tourism sector.
Amidst these economic challenges the wealth derived from the numbers business in the form of a national lottery can be utilized to broaden economic development and empowerment.
Unlike other economic enterprises, those who run the numbers houses produce nothing of economic value in terms of the numbers business itself.
Instead of allowing these barons to hoard our money for themselves, we should have our money collected into a public lottery with the bulk of the proceeds being returned to the Bahamian people.
Money pours out of poorer neighborhoods and many Family Island communities into the bank accounts of a relative few, with next to nothing returning to these communities, often leaving them even more impoverished.
These communities do not need Christmas parties and giveaways. They need concentrated economic and social investments partly derived from a national lottery in which money is reinvested in these communities.
The idea of allowing Bahamians a few shares in the numbers business was meant to sweeten the pot and drum up support for the yes vote in the gaming referendum/opinion poll.
Instead of a few shares, a few tokens to the masses, the Bahamian people should be the majority shareholders and owners of a legalized lottery system, a sort of modern asue that can be used to advance national development, more of which next week.
In days of old, slave masters, colonialists and the old guard hoarded wealth and rigged the economy to benefit their private interests at the expense of the public good.
How shameful that a new guard which came into being to fight such entrenched greed at the expense of the mass of Bahamians now seems set to turn its back on the majority of Bahamians in thrall to a wealthy minority interest, making a mockery of much of the struggle for majority rule.
Bahamians do not need scraps from the numbers banquet table. The table and the full meal belong to the people, not to a selfish oligarchy and its benefactors.
o firstname.lastname@example.org, www.bahamapundit.com.
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April 10, 2014
Free National Movement (FNM) Senator Carl Bethel yesterday charged that the Christie administration
is suffering from a "chronic lack of legislative focus" and called on the government
to "get its act together".
Bethel was responding to Chairman of the Constitutional Commission Sean McWeeney's recent admission that the government may have to delay the planned constitutional referendum on gender equality for a third time.
Bethel, who is a member of the Constitutional Commission, said he is "deeply disappointed" in the government's failure to keep many of its promises as it relates to the referendum.
"I'm sure on behalf of every Bahamian woman, I'd have to express great disappointment that the government has been unable to get its legislative act together in order to advance the cause of women," Bethel told The Nassau Guardian.
"As the chairman of the Constitutional Commission already admitted what we all know, that even so much as an educational campaign on [the matter] has not been instituted by the government."
Bethel said the government now faces a legislative bind as it has yet to present several key pieces of legislation, including the Value-Added Tax (VAT) Bill.
"So many things are going to be backed up. If they are going to be putting in VAT by July 1, then they are doing an extraordinary disservice to the Bahamian people, the business community and our nation that we should be guessing in April and the budget communication and the bills will be here at the end of May," he said.
"Then add to that their terrible neglect of a profound commitment made at the commencement of the Constitutional Commission process that if nothing else were to arise, steps would be taken to protect and enshrine the equal rights of women. And now two years later, nothing has materialized for women.
"It is a symptom of what appears to be a chronic lack of focus. And I would just urge the government to get their act together, bring focus to their message and bring some focus to their legislative agenda because the only ones who suffer from this apparent neglect are Bahamians."
Last October, Prime Minister Perry Christie announced that the constitutional referendum would take place before the end of June 2014 after a public education campaign.
Christie also said constitutional bills would be brought to Parliament before the end of 2013 and passed by February 2014.
The bills have not yet been introduced in Parliament and the public education campaign has not started.
Opposition Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis said he would not be surprised by a delay as the government has been consistently late.
"We should have expected a delay," he said.
"Since they came in, [they have] been late again. So I ask the Bahamian people when they promise you something, remember their dictum, 'late again'."
When asked on Tuesday if the June date was still feasible, McWeeney said, "That probably is unlikely.
"At this point in time there are other more pressing bills, like the upcoming budget [bills]. And the budget debate has historically been a lengthy one.
"So there may be a change in time. But we are confident that we will present the bill in its final form in a matter of weeks."
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April 10, 2014
The board of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) yesterday denied a claim by Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Darron Cash that there are plans to restructure the company.
On Monday, Cash released a statement claiming BTC
is set to begin
a "massive outsourcing program" that could lead to the loss of several hundred Bahamian jobs.
"The board of BTC notes the recent speculation regarding possible job losses within BTC and wishes to confirm that there are no such plans to restructure the business," read a statement signed by Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC) CEO and BTC Chairman Phil Bentley, and BTC Deputy Chairman Rowena Bethel.
"This message has been shared with our union partners.
"Moreover, the board is committed to increasing our level of investment across The Bahamas to improve network reliability and customer service.
"Finally, the board wishes to make it clear that this sort of unfounded speculation is most unwelcome, undermining, as it does, the confidence of the hard-working BTC employees who support our customers every day."
The board called for an end to "irresponsible accusations."
The outsourcing speculation fueled fear and uncertainty among the company's unions.
Bahamas Communications and Public Officers Union President Bernard Evans said on Monday the union had not been informed of any planned outsourcing.
However, he said if that happened the union would "bring BTC to a complete stop."
Bahamas Communications and Public Managers Union President Talbot Collie said he was "cautiously pessimistic" about the claims.
On Tuesday, government negotiator, Franklyn Wilson, said he had no knowledge of any planned layoffs at the company.
He said, as part of the 2011 sale, the FNM government approved a business plan, which was inclusive of such outsourcing.
BTC board member and Progressive Liberal Party Chairman Bradley Roberts raised the same point in a statement on Tuesday.
FNM Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis defended his party yesterday amid the accusations that the Ingraham administration approved outsourcing during the 2011 sale.
Minnis said the Ingraham administration negotiated a veto clause that meant the government could stop any attempts to export jobs as long as it retained at least a 15 percent interest in the company.
The government has a 49 percent stake in BTC.
Prime Minister Perry Christie and Bentley announced in January that CWC has agreed to transfer just under two percent of its shares in BTC to the Bahamian people to be held in trust.
However, the deal has yet to be released to the public.
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April 10, 2014
Free National Movement (FNM) Leader Dr. Hubert Minnis yesterday defended his party from accusations that the Ingraham administration approved the outsourcing of jobs at the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) during its majority sale to Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC).
Minnis said the Ingraham administration negotiated a veto clause which could be used by the government as long as it retains at least a 15 percent interest in BTC.
He was responding to statements from government negotiator, Franklyn Wilson, and BTC board member, Bradley Roberts, on the issue.
"Be reassured that the FNM would have ensured that whatever is in the business plan would have protected Bahamians and Bahamian jobs," Minnis said.
"As long as The Bahamas government owns [at least] 15 percent, and we own 49 percent of BTC we have veto power.
"The clause in the business plan is that any jobs that Cable & Wireless attempts to export out of The Bahamas, the government can stop it through its veto power.
"If any jobs are lost I can say categorically that the present government, the PLP, would not have utilized the veto power that we left to protect Bahamians."
Minnis said the government should be doing more to protect Bahamian jobs and should be focused on recent outsourcing in the banking sector and in the hotel sector.
On Tuesday, Wilson told The Nassau Guardian that if BTC were to outsource, it would be the result of conditions the Ingraham administration agreed to in the 2011 sale.
Roberts, who is also the Progressive Liberal Party's chairman, raised the same point in a statement on Tuesday.
"In a presentation before the FNM Cabinet of the first business plan for a privatized BTC, the 95-page PowerPoint presentation presented to Cabinet at or around February 1, 2011, [the] former prime minister and the entire FNM crew agreed that Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) could decimate BTC after the first year of privatization and outsource all its main functions to CWC operations abroad," Roberts said.
The outsourcing claims were raised by the FNM on Monday.
FNM Chairman, Darron Cash, released a statement claiming BTC is set to begin a "massive outsourcing program" that could lead to the loss of several hundred Bahamian jobs.
Cash also said the FNM understands that Leon Williams, the former BTC CEO, is being considered to resume his old post.
BTC's Board said yesterday there are "no such plans to restructure the business".
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April 10, 2014
Almost 10 months after the Princess Margaret Hospital's (PMH) Critical Care Block was scheduled to be completed, Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) Chairman Frank Smith said yesterday there is no timeline for its opening.
"We are opening a Critical Care Block," said Smith, when contacted for comment.
"We are not opening an office building. We have to test systems. You can't have anything fail on you. That means a life. We prefer to err on the side of caution.
"We are being cautious.
"Everything is being tested and retested. We want to make sure it's done right."
The Ingraham administration broke ground on the project in November 2011 and it was expected to be completed no later than June 2013.
Free National Movement (FNM) Deputy Chairman Dr. Duane Sands said yesterday he does not expect the facility to open anytime soon.
"It is an unbelievable disappointment that we have not yet opened the Critical Care Block and really don't have a definite time when it will be opened," said Sands when contacted for comment.
"It speaks to the distraction of this government running around the globe, down in Trinidad, in the Cayman Islands, in Washington, D.C., and all over the world opining on regional and national issues and not paying attention to what is happening at home.
"Yes we are citizens of the world, but the first order of business is to deal with the issues concerning Bahamians. Health care and education, crime, jobs, all of these are on the back burner with this government. The Critical Care Block is a prime example."
Smith said he will not be distracted by the opposition's criticism.
Last August, officials reported that the facility was 90 percent finished. It was expected to be turned over to the government in October.
The $100 million facility will have a new central sterile department; 18 recovery beds; 20 private ICU rooms; 48 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) beds; new laboratory facilities; upgraded administrative facilities and a new main entry into the facility that is accessible to the disabled, according to officials.
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