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"Millions in stadium contracts on the way"Nassau Guardian, Page A5, Saturday, 2nd October 2010. A recent(2nd October 2010)issue of The Nassau Guardian carried a story on page A5 outlining the need for the government to borrow fifty million dollars to finish the Oakes Field stadium and build the necessary supporting infrastructure.
So, the$30 million'gift of a stadium'to be built primarily with foreign labor sending their labor income out of the country and paying for most of the material to foreign providers, finally comes clear to one and all. Taxpayers are going to pay for the borrowing of another$50 million in order to complete the building and the infrastructure. So, the$30 mi ...
The story broke last week Monday that the National Security Agency (NSA) of the United States has been recording all cell phone calls in The Bahamas. The online site The Intercept published the story. The supporting documents for the piece are reportedly from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Since the disclosure by The Intercept and stories in the Bahamian media, the U.S. Embassy in Nassau has just said that, as a matter of policy, the United States has made it clear that it gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations.
On Monday, U.S. Charge d'Affaires John Dinkelman said he could neither confirm nor deny allegations that the NSA is recording and archiving every cell phone conversation in The Bahamas. But, Dinkelman thinks the relationship between the two countries is strong.
"Regarding the relationship between the United States and The Bahamas, it has never been stronger and will continue to be one of the closest and manageable in today's world where we struggle together for freedoms, for peace and most importantly for the security of both our nations," he said.
When the initial story broke, Foreign Affairs Minister Fred Mitchell said in a statement that the reported recording and storing of cell phone calls in The Bahamas by the U.S. appeared to be illegal and an abuse of power.
"It would also represent a great moral failing on the part of its perpetrators, in addition to illegality, which challenges the founding principles of the rule of law," he said.
The Bahamian government then told the country it was awaiting an official response from the U.S. before saying more on the issue.
"In the meantime we urge all Bahamians to remain calm about this matter, keeping our eyes on the fundamentals of the relationship between the two states and our longer-term interests," said Deputy Prime Minister Philip Davis last week in the House of Assembly.
The government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas should know that the Americans will tell them no more in private than they have said in public. They have not denied the allegation, and we all know that Snowden took their private files.
As a small nation, we have no retaliatory power against the U.S. But at this stage what is needed is a strong statement from a nationalist in the Parliament of The Bahamas on behalf of the government expressing the anger of the Bahamian people on this issue.
The Americans should know that as a sovereign nation we take grave offense to them recording the conversations of our children, our friends and colleagues. We have no idea what they do with this information. We don't know if they use it against us in some way. We don't know if they save it to use it against us if we dare to have an independent thought or position against America.
What this intelligence program gives the U.S. is another means by which to blackmail the people of The Bahamas. Dangling this power over the heads of a people is an act of hostility. There is nothing friendly about blackmail.
The U.S. does these things because it can. It especially does these things to little countries because they have no power of response to the great superpower.
In speaking back to America, however, we need to make that country and its officials aware that such acts of hostility toward weaker peoples fuel anti-Americanism. And this sentiment in a people always makes it more difficult for America to achieve its interests.
We wonder if there is anyone in our Cabinet who "believes in The Bahamas" enough to condemn the great United States and articulate Bahamian outrage on this point. America has compromised our political and law enforcement classes with gifts of equipment and cooperation. Others in our community are so mesmerized by being able to go shopping in South Florida that they dare not say anything to get our neighbor to the north upset.
If we are to be a proud, sovereign nation, we must stand up and condemn our friends when they have wronged us. We should let them know in clear terms that their willingness to abuse their power and violate our privacy endangers our "friendly" relationship. Their cavalier actions also erode the goodwill many Bahamians feel toward the U.S.
We shall watch and see what our leaders say regarding this matter. Maybe they don't care and hope the issue dies down over time. But if the Bahamian government lets this go with no further protest, the Americans will know that the docile people of The Bahamas live in a country where it is easy for the United States to perfect whatever intrusive experiment it chooses with little to no resistance.
BAHAMIAN soccer officials who blew the whistle on alleged FIFA corruption advised that "under no circumstances would the Bahamas FA accept such a cash gift", an affidavit claimed yesterday.
ESPN Sportsnet yesterday reported that Fred Lunn, vice-president of the Bahamas Football Association, sent a text message to the association's president Anton Sealey immediately after he was allegedly urged to accept a large brown envelope filled with $40,000 cash from a Caribbean Football Union (CFU) official.
According to the affidavit, Mr Sealey texted: "I'm disappointed but not surprised. It is important that [ ...
By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Staff Reporter
Government is not a person, but rather it is an instrument given to a body of people to uphold the institutions to govern society. The instrument, which is the law, regulates everything in a society from personal behavior to societal norms.
God in his wisdom has instituted the instrument of government. The instrument of government is made up of a body of laws. The laws are a system designed to regulate and preserve and protect the rights of all persons, organizations and nations. The enforcement and carrying out of the instrument of the law, when it is done in various arenas, brings wholeness and provides for the protection of people to develop and progress in a civil manner.
Consequently, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most profound and prolific leaders in the last century, stated that "all reality has spiritual control. And there is a God that upholds and stands behind that reality".
Laws are primarily given to constrain the waywardness of man's depraved and fallen nature. They are the penal code of man's morality. Man's morality is designed to bring the best out of every person. Civic society has various educational and social institutions with systems that are proactively intended to help people discover their gifts and in so doing lend their support to the national development of their country. It is one's moral and God-given responsibility to actively and creatively contribute to civil society.
So it is in the observing and obeying of these principles, that are the penal code, that a nation is protected from imploding from the activities of lawlessness or being destroyed ultimately by the judgment of God.
God in his mercy towards man has created redemption for him and empowered the church through his Holy Spirit to adhere to the penal code. As a church conforms to the standards of morality it assists in building its community, society, and indeed a nation. In so doing, God blesses that nation. That is why he said: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord," Psalm 33:12.
The quality of a nation is determined by the quality of its government. Characteristically, this responsibility needs to be carried out with respect to loyalty, fidelity and sincerity by those who occupy the office. The government is accountable for law and order in a civil society; this instrument of accountability has been designed by God.
Therefore, government is not about personalities. It is about systems and structures and persons being held accountable for positions of trust to carry out specific duties. Civil society has a right to demand accountability of its elected leaders and appointed or engaged officers. As a people in The Bahamas, if we do not collectively hold our elected leaders accountable then we lose control of our ability and power to ensure that government acts in the best interest of the people.
The safety and security of The Bahamas rests at the feet of government. However, in The Bahamas, we have several areas of government, the executive, the judiciary, and the enforcement agencies. While the government cannot control what goes on in someone's bedroom, and in our homes and our private space, it is responsible for the control of the collective environment in which we operate. Government is to ensure that the laws are enforced, applied and fully executed.
The regulation of the law is to be enforced by the government. Government has agreed to join in the collective responsibility for law and order in our country. Threats and breaches of peace are the collective responsibility of the executive branch, the judiciary and the armed forces; these all makeup the government. However, ultimately, the executive branch sets the agenda and brings forward laws that are required to meet the challenges of society, under which the other arms of government function. While collective security is an idea with a long history, its implementation in practice has proven problematic. Several prerequisites have to be met for it to have a chance of working. Therefore, the government should have worked on those prerequisites immediately upon taking office so that these should have been satisfied by now.
Before the FNM government took office in 2007, crime, criminality and murder were at high levels in The Bahamas. A prerequisite of taking office should therefore have been the formulation of a plan to address these burgeoning issues. Subsequently, in 2009, 86 persons were murdered in our country - the highest occurrence in the modern Bahamas at that time. In 2010 the upward homicide trend continued and 94 homicides were recorded. And now in 2011, at the end of 9 months, it stands at more than 104, an increase of more than 40 percent since the current government took office.
The sad thing in all of this is that there seems to be no national plan to bring some arrest to this problem in our country. Over the past three years the Bahamas Christian Council (BCC) sought partnership with the government with the hope of reducing criminality and crime in our country. As president, I specifically addressed three of the ministers of the government: Minister for National Security Tommy Turnquest, the prime minister and Minister Zhivago Liang, who I wrote after being turned around by the others respectively. To my surprise all three ministries did not accept the proposal to partner with the BCC. As past president of the Bahamas Christian Council, in one of the meetings with the prime minister he told to the church leaders: "You as church leaders do what you need to do and as the government, we will do what we need to do."
Not to mention, the prime minister was not in attendance at the last parliamentary service, which was held at the Salvation Army, Mackey Street. He sent an apology. Further, the prime minister did not attend the 2009 Independence service, held at Bahamas Faith Ministries. Now about six to eight months or so from general election, the prime minister has attended three of the last services held by the Bahamas Christian Council.
As past president of the Bahamas Christian Council, we call on the government to own up to its elected responsibility and to do its job on behalf of the Bahamian people.
We look forward to the prime minister's upcoming address on crime this Monday.
Fatherhood is a precious gift God gave His people. To be presented with the responsibility of another's life and well-being is a feat to take seriously from the moment one takes up this title. If more men took their role seriously and provided for their children as they should, the country would be in a better state. And getting men to see how essential it is to get back to the basics of praying, protecting and providing in their homes was the message that Archdeacon James Palacious left with the congregation during the Father's Day service at Holy Spirit Anglican Church.
"Being a dad is a beautiful and wonderful thing, but it is not something to do just because you can, Father Palacious told the congregation. "It is easy to be a father, but it's another story to be a dad," he said.
The Anglican archdeacon said men are willing to father children all over the place but forget that the real work comes in raising the child in the right way. He said men have to be everything their children need no matter what life may throw their way.
As a provider, he said a father should aim to meet his children's needs, and that it's not so much about giving into their every whim, but teaching the value of what they do have and giving them what they need to succeed. He also said providing did not mean financially, and that being a good father also means providing for the emotional and psychological needs of children.
"Good fathers make sure their children know who they are -- that they are special and important. Their daughters know they are beautiful and loved. No one else has to come and tell her so. Your sons will know where they stand and what it means to be a young man. They will not be confused or wonder where they belong and seek bad company to fulfill their need to fit in," said Archdeacon Palacious.
The priest encouraged the men in the congregation to also provide the template their sons should be emulating and their daughters should be searching for when they look for a husband one day. He told them that a good father figure should be able to encourage their children and build up their self-esteem and confidence so they are sure of themselves and not at the mercy of the opinions of others.
"Fathers today need to step up and do what they are mandated to do by God. They are to be there for their children and should not be sidetracked into thinking providing financially will suffice," said Fr. Palacious. "Children need just as much to have a sense of love and belonging from both parents."
He said many fathers today are doing their job, but that there are more out there not taking up the mantle.
Fr. Palacious also said that being able to protect children is also a good sign of a good father. Ensuring that children aren't polluted by the world via the Internet, television or even other family members is something a parent needs to do to raise a child right in this media-driven world. He told them that the job of the
father is even more rigorous today because it is easy for children to be influenced, and that it is not easy to control all elements in society which is why fathers should be vigilant and not dump the responsibility of raising children on mothers or other family members.
The Anglican priest also said that setting the right spiritual example is an essential part of being a father and that protecting and providing are all well and good, but ensuring children know how to walk in Christ was even more important. He said fathers should make it a point to pray with their children, and attend church as a family often. And that showing rather than telling is the best way to instill the right values, and to really get children to understand the value of spirituality.
Archdeacon Palacious said God meant for fatherhood to be a privilege within marriage, but that most children are born out of wedlock. He said the child who lives with married parents is a statistical anomaly.
"There is no surprise that the country is going in a downward spiral. We are not doing as God ordained and not all men are living up to what He expected of them. You have to be there more than financially. It is not enough. The greatest things that shape your child cannot be bought with money," the minister told the congregation. "In my family we use the three 'F' words -- free ... family ... fun. It's just about spending quality time. Not harassing your children or stressing out over life. Just have a good time and let them feel loved. This can be a ride in the car or a visit to the beach. You should want to spend time with the kids. They will remember that more than the hundreds you spent on a game or the endless hours you worked to provide for them," he said.
Fr. Palacious said men should be thinking about the legacy they will be leaving behind for their families. He said when their children look back on their youth, that fathers should want them to remember the good times, the fun occasions, the morning prayers and life lessons. And that they should not want their children's only memory of them to be of them working and never showing up to important events in their lives.
"Everyone leaves behind a legacy. You never know when the Lord may call you, so it is best to utilize the time you have to set the foundation you would want your children to build upon. No matter how old your child is, it is not too late to try to set things right and guide them in the ways they should go. God gave fathers a responsibility to be heads of the home and a staple in their children's lives. So to me it is very wrong to shirk this duty," said the priest.
Students from the BTC Scholars Programme at The College of The Bahamas joined in to give back at the Bahamas Telecommunications Company's (BTC) second annual School Aid event at Mario's Bowling and Family Entertainment Palace. The 10 students, who received academic scholarships from the telecommunications company, teamed up with BTC iVolunteers, community leaders, educational speakers and health and grooming professionals, to prepare 400 students from the Department of Social Services, Urban Renewal, Families of All Murder Victims (FOAM), and BTC's adopted Old Bight Mission Home for the new school year.
The COB scholars served as chaperones and mentors to the young students during the School Aid event. Boys received haircuts at the grooming station while girls got manicures. Dental and health screenings were also offered. Each child was able to select a book of his or her choice to take home from the bookstore, and every child left the event with a BTC backpack filled with school supplies and a $35 grocery voucher.
The children and parents were not the only ones to receive gifts. BTC also awarded each of the scholars with a $250 gift certificate to defray the costs of books and supplies.
BTC scholar Kenique Pinder, a senior in COB's psychology program, said she was excited when BTC approached her about participating in the BTC School Aid event. She said working with children is her calling.
"My passion is kids. Ever since my BTC scholarship allowed me to remain at COB, I have been pursuing a career in child psychology, so I have had a blast working with the children here today."
Fellow BTC scholar Adrian Culmer, a third-year student in COB's computer and application programming program, said that he also enjoys working with children, but his main motivation to give back is thankfulness for what he has been given.
"BTC gave so much to me. Having this BTC scholarship has empowered me to be able to focus on my education rather than worry about tuition, so I definitely want to pass that on and give back to these kids," he said.
During the event Culmer also told the children that good grades do not come easily. He encouraged them to be persistent and work toward getting those grades.
"Have discipline, keep focused and always put God first; those are my keys to success," said the BTC scholar.
Pinder, Culmer and eight other students were selected in 2013 to receive scholarships via the BTC Scholars Programme. The $250,000 program was established to provide higher education for academically qualified, but financially challenged, COB students who have graduated from public high schools in New Providence, Grand Bahama or any of the Family Islands.
Indira Collie, manager of internal communication at BTC and lead organizer of the School Aid event, said that she was happy that the BTC Scholars shared their sponsor's generosity and appreciation for the importance of education, but was not surprised.
"At BTC we recognize that education is key. We are more than happy to invest in the development of these school-age youngsters at BTC School Aid, just as we were happy to invest in the futures of our BTC scholars a year ago. The fact that our scholars recognize the value of education and have multiplied what we have given to them by giving again to these children today is a testament to the caliber of students COB chose for our program and the crucial role that corporate citizens like BTC can play in uplifting a community," said Collie.
Nassau, Bahamas - More than 2,000 young people attending
the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) Summer Youth Camps will dine on the
generosity of Bank of The Bahamas. The donation -- gifts cards for a summer's
lunches and snacks from Phil's Food Services -- was made during a presentation
today at BOB's head office with representatives of all nine summer youth camps
throughout New Providence.
"We're extremely grateful to have
the support of Bank of The Bahamas, especially since the program has been
extended from four weeks to six weeks this year," said camp coordinator
Inspector Chrislyn Skippings. "Our goal this year is to provide positive
activities in keeping with our POLICE 2012 policing plan and the bank's
donation will help sustain the programs we're currently implementing for the
NASSAU, The Bahamas --- The "generous and gracious gift" of a 25ft Full Cabin Response Boat and ancillary package from the United States of America will serve to strengthen the Royal Bahamas Defence Force's capabilities in the areas of maritime domain awareness and counter transnational criminal operations, Minister of National Security, Dr. Bernard J. Nottage said Thursday.
Dr. Nottage said the donation will further ensure the Defence Force's "competitive advantage" in that war, and fits in well with the Government of The Bahamas' strategy of protecting the country's national security and maritime and other assets by ensuring "safe borders" through the decentralisation of the Defence Force's operations via the establishment and deployment of patrol craft at strategic locations throughout the Commonwealth.
"It is critical to note that the Response boat will operate primarily within Nassau's Harbour, supplementing the Defence Force's existing Harbour Patrol vessels and ensuring the safety of thousands of visitors and the economic viability of The Bahamas' tourism product," Dr. Nottage said.
The donation of the SAFE Response (Secure All-Around Flotation Equipped) Boat along with a two-year supply of spare parts and a two-week training course for RBPF marine personnel, took place on Thursday (January 9) at the RBDF's Harbour Patrol Unit, East Bay Street, and was made possible through the United States Embassy's Office of Defence Cooperation (ODC) and the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM).
BEVERLY HILLS, CA -
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce
that it has received a gift of 1,088 original movie posters from the
golden age of Hollywood filmmaking. The posters have been donated by
Dwight Cleveland, a Chicago real estate developer, who has amassed one
of the largest and most historically significant collections of movie
posters in the world.
The donated posters document the studio era
of "B" movie filmmaking in the first half of the 20th century and
include examples from Twentieth Century-Fox. A variety of genres are
represented, including westerns, war films, musicals, biblical tales,
and social problem films...
- Stat Oil Company provided lunch and gifts for three Grand Bahama
Island schools this week. Students from McLeans Town, High Rock and
Freetown enjoyed lunch and each received a present...