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News Article

January 13, 2012
Albert Ivan Shorty Humes, 85

Funeral service for Mr. Albert Ivan "Shorty" Humes, 85 yrs., a resident of Baldwin Avenue, & formerly of Ramsey, Exuma, who died on 7th January, 2012, will be held at The Salem Union Baptist Church, Taylor Street, on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. Officiating will be Rev. Dr. C.W. Saunders. Interment follows in Old Trail Cemetery, Old Trail Road.
Left to cherish his memories are his children: Edward Humes, Melinda Pratt, Keva & Bridgette Humes & Marva Humes-Scavella; grandchildren: Rovan & Marisha Humes, O'Glenn & Edreisa Johnson, Tamika, Edward & Edvardo Humes, Christopher & Cleopatra Deal, Christian Pratt, Jathorne Cox, Antonelle & Cordell Humes, Edisel Jr. & Evana Scavella; great-grandchildren: Rovan II & Keyanna Humes, Kyleo, Gabrielle & Geneal Johnson, Eden, Lauren & Christopher Deal, Abria Humes & Hayden Pratt; daughter-in-law: Dorsie Mae Humes; son-in-law: Edisel Scavella Sr.; sisters-in-law: Vivian Humes & Ivy Humes; nephews: James, Dwight, Rodney, Ricardo, Larry, George, Anthony, Brinton, Norman, David, Jeffery, Colin & Huden; nieces: Lorraine, Janet, Shranda, Clarice, Polly, Valleria, Janice, Jacqueline, Melinda & Jennifer; godchild: Joseph Dames; numerous relatives & friends including: Virginia Sturrup & family, Helen & Warren Rolle & family, Les Rolle & family, Harcourt Rolle & family, Nehemiah Rolle & family, Overseer Orthneil Humes & family, Paul & Anita Cooper & family, Ena Rolle & family, McQuay family, Susan & Maria Marshall & family, Sheila Johnson, Norma Adderley, Paula Theophilus, Sybil Glass & family, Agatha Delancy & family, the Mount Thompson & Ramsey family, the Baldwin Avenue family, Deacon McPhee & the Men's Fellowship of Salem Union Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. C.W. Saunders & the entire Salem Union Baptist Church.
Special thanks to Dr. Butch Bartlett.
Friends may pay their last respects at Demeritte's Funeral Home, Market Street, from 10-6:00 p.m. on Friday & on Saturday at the church from 10:00 a.m. until service time.

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News Article
Gunshots fired at U.S. Capitol after car rammed barrier near White House
October 03, 2013
Gunshots fired at U.S. Capitol after car rammed barrier near White House

A lockdown on the U.S. Capitol has been lifted after gunshots fired near the building put the area on high alert. According to other reports by staffers and reporters on the Hill, people were told to shelter in place until the order was lifted close to 3 p.m.. There is still significant police activity around the building...

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News Article

October 04, 2013
20-30 jobs at 'jam-packed' Atlantis gaming facility

The Atlantis Resort officially opened its nearly 7,000-square-foot Cantor Gaming Race and Sports Book facility yesterday, which will create 20 to 30 jobs and boost gaming revenue.
In the new state-of-the art 6,860-square-foot facility, patrons will be able to wager using Cantor Gaming's mobile sports wagering application on their Apple or Android device, or on their wireless enabled personal computing devices, including tablets and smartphones, with Cantor Gaming's Wi-Fi enabled sports wagering solution.
During yesterday's brief ribbon cutting ceremony, Atlantis President and Managing Director George Markantonis said the resort is already benefitting from the new facility, as it is reportedly "jam packed" on the weekends.
"Right now, we have people sitting on the floors. So we are going to have to bring more lounge and sofa seating. To be honest, we weren't expecting the crowds that we have been getting on the weekends but the beautiful thing is that we have been having to add staff to keep up with the volume," he said to Guardian Business.
"It has generated jobs. We put this bar in, and it is doing huge numbers now. People like to have a drink while they are watching sports. Overall, this whole racing sports facility will be adding 20-30 jobs. The peak season for sports is September 1 through February 28."
After meeting with several sports book operators, Markantonis said Cantor Gaming stood out as the obvious choice for Atlantis to partner with, having several major operations under their belt in gaming powerhouses like Las Vegas. The Cantor Gaming facility marks the brand's first international racing sports location.
"We had a sports book before but frankly, it's like chalk and cheese. That was a dump in comparison to what we have now. They paid for the sports book. They showed a commitment not only to The Bahamas, but also to Atlantis because they wanted to be affiliated with this brand," according to Markantonis.
As sports wagering continues to show significant growth, Cantor Gaming President and CEO Lee Amatis said he saw the opportunity to deploy its mobile technology at the Atlantis Resort.
"Sports wagering is very popular. Having to be able to come this close to The Bahamas to be able to do it, we think it's a fantastic idea. I think we feel comfortable in the fact that we think that the numbers can be significant," he said to Guardian Business.
"It does require a fair amount of risk management because people can win in that regard so you have to be able to do a broader risk management program, which is what Cantor does."
To date, Cantor Gaming has invested $5 million to get the new Race and Sports Book facility at Atlantis up and running. However, he is confident that as business expands, the level of investment will increase.
"Then, there's the investment of mobile technology, which requires servers to be placed on the property. As it expands, it will be hundreds of thousands more dollars. It's an easy investment for us because we know it's going to be popular and we know it's going to create jobs and a lot of interest. So it's very exciting, Amatis explained.
Gaming Board Chairman Dr. Andre Rollins, who also brought remarks at Thursday's opening, said that with a facility like this, The Bahamas could position itself to benefit from the multi-billion-dollar industry.
"It accounts for $300 billion in gaming revenue in the United States of America. Ninety nine percent of that is done outside of the regulated entities so you have a large black market for gaming in the United States," he said.
"The Bahamas could well position itself to assist our neighbors in having a well-policed gaming regime that would allow us to take advantage of all that money that is in the black market."
"I think Cantor Gaming in partnership with the Atlantis casino is definitely on the verge of taking advantage of the huge promise that sports wagering presents."

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News Article

August 03, 2010
Gardener Jack: Is August the end or the beginning

WHEN I put my book A Year With Gardener Jack together I started with September and ended with August, a month that in many ways is the low point of the growing year but in many other ways is remarkably fecund.
All the vegetables we grow during the cooler months are absent from the veggie plots. We may have a few cherry tomatoes and peppers to boast about but beyond that we only have very hardy producers like okra, Malabar spinach and snake beans to comfort us.
In the absence of prime vegetables it might be wise to cover your veggie plots with clear plastic, a process called solarisation. The plastic will stop weeds growing and will also sterilise the soil. August gives the last opportunity to solari ...

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News Article

September 10, 2011
US Embassy marks the 10th anniversary of September 11th with two community service projects

NASSAU, Bahamas -- Ten years ago on September 11, nearly 3,000 people from more than 90 nations perished in a terrorist attack targeting the United States.  U.S. President Obama took inspiration from the victims and survivors of this tragic event by establishing September 11 as a National Day of Service.  Last year, 11.5 million people -- including the president and First Lady Michelle Obama -- participated in the day of service, helping charitable organizations and community groups throughout the United States.   
In response to U.S. President Barack Obama's call to service, U.S. Embassy Nassau marked the anniversary of September 11th with two community service projects on New Providence.  On the morning of September 9th, The U.S. Embassy's Chargè d'affaires, Mr. John Dinkelman, visited the G.K. Symonette Library to donate a collection of over 400 new Scholastic books for young readers as well as bookshelves, a rug, brightly colored pillows and a large nursery rhyme mural to brighten up the children's corner.  
The donation was a way for the U.S. Embassy to give back to the community of Yellow Elder Gardens by creating a bright, vibrant space where children can explore the world through reading.  On hand for the donation were second graders from C.W. Sawyer Primary School and Ms. Dorcas Bower from the Ministry of Education.

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News Article

September 28, 2013
20 QUESTIONS

This week, Bahamian artist Jace Mckinney answers 20 Questions from Guardian Arts&Culture. Jace is currently pursuing a master's degree in divinity at Andrews University in Michigan.

1. What's been your most inspirational moment in the last five years?
It was when I did a LARP (Live Action Role Play) Bible Camp to reach out and connect with the youth of the Chippingham community. It was a two-week camp reflecting on the battle of David and Goliath. The support was overwhelming. I remember the night before the fun day Big Battle. As it came up to the final moments, there were a lot of things that were not finished in concern with the battle armor, weapons and costumes. It was like a miracle to me. The kids came and joined in, in getting their costumes completed and helped each other in getting ready. It was a moment of the most perfect synergy, love and unity. Then, we went out on to the battle field, slew some giants, won the war, ate some veggie hotdogs and had juice. We had a blast. I was very reluctant to leave that moment.

2. What's your least favorite piece of artwork?
My eighth grade Dragonball Z Drawings. Every so often when I am clearing out my things and throwing away useless stuff, I come across them and say 'ew.' But for some reason, I keep them.

3. What's your favorite period of art history?
The modern period of comics and children's books.

4. What are your top 5 movies of all time?
The Fall
Braveheart (Because I'm a man)
Before Night Falls
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

A Beautiful Mind

5. Coffee or tea?
Lemon tea. Though I never really saw the point of drinking hot things as I lived in a hot climate.

6. What book are you reading now?
"Steps to Christ" by E. G. White.

7. What project are you working on now?
All projects are on hold. My last show killed me.

8. What's the last show that surprised you?
Stan Burnside's body of work for his most recent solo art show "Love and Peace".
That show stands tall in my mind right now. When I entered the space I felt like a burden was lifted. I remember the image of Jackson smiling. I felt the light. The energy of that show inspired the energy that exists in my recent work. I haven't gotten the chance to tell Stan that yet.

9. Saxons, One Family, Valley Boys or Roots?
One Love!

10. If you had to be stranded on one Family Island which one would it be?
Crooked Island. I have a special bond with that island. I visit it in my dreams. I was there for a three-week hiatus, cut off from all communication. No TV, no Internet, no phone. When the plane touched down I thought to myself that this was crazy, but then the island spoke to me.

11. What's the most memorable artwork you've ever seen?
Do ho Suh, "some/one".

12. Which artist do you have a secret crush on?
Betsy, my paint brush.

13. If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be?
Adam and Eve because they are a two-for-one special since she's Adams rib, and I would like them to demonstrate for me how they ate the fruit.

14. Who do you think is the most important Bahamian in the country's history?
The Arawaks. I wish their descendents were with us.

15. Who is your favorite living artist?
Ask me again in another 10 years.

16. Sunrise or Sunset?
Sunrise. It symbolizes that new chance to find out what life is all about.

17. What role does the artist have in society?
To let society know that everything is going to be okay.

18. What's your most embarrassing moment?
Giving sermons in my sleep amongst total strangers.

19. What wouldn't you do without?
Prayer, dreams and art.

20. What's your definition of beauty?
The unknown.

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News Article

March 19, 2014
Moxey-Pratt advocates recognition of stalwart sporting ambassadors

Sports icon and one of the country's greatest contributors to nation building, Cynthia Moxey-Pratt, was delighted recently when we chatted. She informed of the opportunity that was given for the women's softball national teams of the 1970s to be honored at the House of Assembly. They did in fact have yet another moment in the spotlight when some from that golden era fraternity were saluted in the House of Assembly as a part of the International Women's Day activities in The Bahamas.
"This is something good. To have an occasion when as many of us as is possible could come together again is a good idea," she said. Moxey-Pratt is widely regarded as the best female basketball talent in the country's history. She was also one of the top softball players and it was in that sport that the country rose to No. 3 in the world and dominated competition in the Caribbean and the Americas during the 1970s.
The national softball ladies of the 1970s were magnificent. They were well respected around the world, not just for their play, but also for the calm assurance and dignity they demonstrated. The poise of players from such a small country amazed rival players. To give readers an idea of just how good the softball icons were, I go down memory lane for a few paragraphs from an article written about the national team's performance during the World Softball Tournament in El Salvador in October 1978.
From the 1978 article:
"In Friday's game, The Bahamas won 5-2 over Italy with Alice Wells picking up the victory. Daisy Walker led the offensive attack with three singles, a double and by scoring three runs.
"On Sunday, The Bahamas defeated Taiwan 5-4 behind Linda Ford's hurling. Ford also scored the winning run. With the score tied after seven innings of play, Ford got a single, moved to second on Barbara Knowles' bunt and came home when Kaye Moxey delivered a clutch hit.
"On Monday, The Bahamas swamped Nicaragua 11-0 behind the fine pitching of Ernestine Butler. A balanced hitting attack, led by Walker and Cheryl Turnquest, paved the way for the victory."
That's the level of play that anointed The Bahamas as one of the best in female softball in the world. Unfortunately, from No. 3 in the world, this country dropped considerably over the ensuing decades. Without a doubt, if a time machine could bring those ladies back to their prime, they would be among the three best in today's world of softball.
Yes, they were that good. For a time, the milestones achieved by Moxey-Pratt and fellow softball heroes were forgotten. Their performances had faded into the past and most of their names were no longer easily recognized. As a result of International Women's Day 2014 though, they were afforded a forum on which to get under the spotlight once again.
The House of Assembly salute certainly befits the gallant softball ladies of the 1970s.

(To respond to this sports feature, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at sturrup1504@gmail.com)

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News Article
Arianna barely misses out on 100 Free Final
July 29, 2011
Arianna barely misses out on 100 Free Final

Arianna Vanderpool-Wallace was ever so close to becoming the first Bahamian to make a Swimming World Championships long course final.
The top Bahamian female swimmer broke her own national record for the second time in as many swims Thursday evening in Shanghai, China, to finish 10th overall in the women's 100-meter (m) Free.

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News Article

August 03, 2010
Bahamian to spend life in US jail for sexual assault on boys

A Bahamian man who reportedly passed himself off as a religious figure will spend the rest of his life behind bars after a Clarke County jury found him guilty of sexually assaulting several young boys in Athens, Georgia.

Antonio Andrette Sands, 36, passed himself off as a prophet, pastor and apostle, which allowed him to get close to the boys and their families, according to international reports.

The reports indicate that Sands' victims ranged between the ages of seven and 13, and came mostly from single-family homes.

Sands, who appeared before Superior Chief Court Judge Lawton Step ...

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News Article

July 17, 2012
Man convicted of killing cop in second trial

A jury reached a unanimous verdict of guilty in the retrial of a man accused of the murder of an off-duty policeman.
The verdict against Pachino Lundy resolved the question of who was responsible for the shooting death of Henry Curry, an issue that another jury could not determine in December 2011.
Lundy appeared stunned as the verdict was read. The dead man's family wept and hugged each other.
Lundy, who had up to this point been on bail, gave his jewelry to his lawyer Bernard Ferguson before an officer handcuffed him.
Justice Roy Jones remanded Lundy to Her Majesty's Prisons until sentencing, which will be held on August 27.
Witnesses identified Lundy as the person who fatally shot Curry at the OK Bar on East Street on July 10, 2005 and fled the scene in a black Monte Carlo.
Lundy admitted that he was in the area when the shooting occurred. According to him, he ran and ducked when he heard the gunshots.
Lundy said someone threw rocks at his car as he was leaving and he went to the police station to report the incident.
Anthony Delaney and Charles Newbold prosecuted.

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News Article

July 23, 2012
Sister Sister stars, Tia and Tamara visit The Bahamas

Nassau,
Bahamas - Popular TV stars Tia & Tamera Mowry, who gained fame on
the ABC/WB sitcom "Sister Sister" are in the Bahamas shooting for their
new Reality TV Show. Tia and Tamara visited places like Downtown, the
Straw Market, Arawak Cay and Eleuthera. The twins mother Darlene Mowry,
is a "Bahamian-American" and they want to learn more about their
Bahamian roots.

Both talented sisters have also branched out to
other roles, Tia Mowry has portrayed medical student Melanie Barnett
Davis on the CW/BET comedy-drama series "The Game" and Tamera Mowry
played Dr. Kayla...

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News Article

July 24, 2012
Are you a pioneer, reactor or engager

I apologize if you're reading this first thing in the morning, but have to ask you to look at how much you spent last year on energy and compare that to how much you made in profits. If the numbers make you want to crawl back under the covers, you're not alone.
Indeed, the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions asks similar questions of the participants in its reSources 2012 survey, and reported 90 percent of businesses having set goals to save on energy over the coming years.
The survey identifies three distinct types of businesses. There are the 'pioneers' who become involved in energy management as a result of a push from their customers. The 'engagers' are those who are coming to terms with the need for change and energy regulations but continue to grapple with the difficulties involved in making any adjustments. Then there are the 'reactors' who are less concerned with impact to the environment or society from poor decisions regarding energy. Their primary motivator is cost savings.
This U.S. national survey, being only in its second year and based on one-on-one interviews with senior executives in business, combined with 600 interviews with other business decision makers conducted online, found that this year the amount of engagers grew to half of those surveyed. There were increases in pioneers and a reduced number of reactors, evidencing a continued realization that management of energy is essential for business survival.
The survey also reported most companies planning to cut consumption and reduce energy use by 25 percent over the next three-to-five years, with 85 percent of those interviewed viewing reducing electricity costs as vital to their continued existence. This year, 63 percent noted that their customers are driving demand for energy considerate options, which is a 14 point increase over the year prior, with an 11 point increase to 76 percent of businesses being involved in the promotion of environmentally conscious products.
Though this survey was conducted in the U.S., I believe it certainly reflects the sentiments of local business persons who currently pay rates that are three to four times those of U.S. counterparts. There continues to be no government or utility-led incentive programs. Although we have seen the relaxation or elimination of custom duties on some sustainable items, there appears to be some lingering confusion as recently played out in the debate in the media surrounding composite LED fixtures. Regardless, there continues to be much that we as individual business can do, especially by way of low and no cost measures, to manage consumption. However, investments that require large capital outlay continue to be delayed in a sluggish economy. Additionally, one of the hurdles identified by U.S. businesses surveyed is employee buy in, but I believe this can be handled by implementing training programs that inform how employees can save energy for their companies as well as for themselves.
So what label best describes your business? Are you a reactor, engager or a pioneer?

Reader feedback: In response to my article about Efficient Windows, Catherine reminded me that these windows only help with security protection if they are fully closed and this would force her to have to burn air-conditioning all day. She prefers to use white blinds, burglar bars and Bahama Shutters.

Send questions or comments to sbrown@graphitebahamas.com. Sonia Brown is principal of Graphite Engineering Ltd. and is a registered professional engineer.

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News Article

July 05, 2012
Bahamas Sprint Relay Team Ready for Barcelona

Nassau, Bahamas - The
Bahamas' young 4x100m relay team seems ready to make an impression on
The Bahamas, the region, and the world.

Over the last two seasons our boys have broken record after record.

At
last year's Carifta Games in Montego Bay it was Chavez Hart, Trevorano
Mackey, Laron Hield and Stephen Newbold who clocked 40.29sec to
establish a new Bahamian National junior record in the 4x100m relay...

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News Article

August 01, 2012
Why we can't wait

Dear Editor,

The general election has been concluded some two and a half months now. The political departure, for the final time, of the former prime minister has been set in motion. The question as to whether or not the current prime minister has accepted the fact that he is, again, now in fact the prime minister has yet to be answered affirmatively, if at all.
The electorate was sold a bill of goods and it may well be that when we present it to the proverbial bankers that it will be handed back to us marked "refer to drawer". It is understandable that a honeymoon period should be extended to a newly elected government. Honeymoons, however, seldom last for more than a week or two.
The people of this nation cannot and will not wait forever on the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) administration to find its collective feet. Hitting the ground running was a part of the seductive posture enunciated by that party during the campaign. One would have thought that the PLP and its allies would have learnt the simple lesson that proper public relations and marketing are key elements in good governance.
No doubt the PLP is doing something and no doubt that party believes the same, but what is on the ground that an ordinary man and woman in our beloved country is able to actually feel, touch and smell? The average person in The Bahamas cannot and will not wait much longer for the long promised hope and help. Talk is extremely cheap and real money still buys land.
Little comfort is being handed out to the displaced and badly treated former workers at the now defunct City Meat Market. The ball is in the court of the ministry of labor and other governmental agencies to ensure that those workers are treated fairly within the ambit of the law. Yet, I understand, that they have been told that the matter is still pending. How is it that the labor board and the minister have not stepped in to ensure that the owners of that defunct company do the right thing?
Because one may have supported and voted for any party does not give that party an automatic escape from criticism where warranted. I demand that the minister of labor, my erstwhile "friend", I believe, move quickly to bring justice and equity to those workers. We cannot sit by and wait any longer.
The deputy prime minister is the hardest working member of the Christie Cabinet, bar none. He too, however, has been placed in the balance and found wanting. Compensation was promised to those business persons and entities along the dug up roads by the PLP during the general election. Months later the roads are still in a total mess and there is no longer talk of compensation. The DPM now tells us that he expects the roads to be finished by October 2012, but he did not tell us at what financial cost.
Some within the PLP believe that I want something from that party. Let me disabuse them of that bogus notion. I want nothing that was not promised to me years ago. If they do not wish to do what they said that they would bring about, who cares? There is nothing or no one living or dead who is able to stop me. I am not prepared to pamper and cuddle up to anyone for a mess of red bean soup, with no salt beef.
We cannot wait while politicians live high on the hog and many of our people are still jobless, hopeless and often homeless. They make good speeches but don't really believe or live out what they are pontificating. The former prime minister was good at this form until he uttered the patently stupid statement, allegedly: "I am a one-man band."
Why should we wait when hotel workers are being let go just when schools are about to reopen? Why should we wait when the Chinese workers are working full time around the clock and our people are being displaced? Where is the minister of labor in all of this? In fact, where is the mantra of this administration: "Putting Bahamians first?" If ever there were a bogus political slogan this may well be it.
I do believe that Perry Christie means well but so many of his ministers and sycophants have changed overnight since they were returned to power. All former cellular numbers have been changed or go to voice mail. It is useless trying to access the now high and mighty. The PLP is behaving, collectively, just how the free National Movement (FNM) and its "hologramic" former leader used to behave.
You should see some of them strutting, like Boxer and Squealer from "Animal Farm" fame all over the place. You should see some of them creased up in their chauffeur driven blue-plated vehicles, air conditioned to the maximum. Now you understand why we cannot and will not wait to hold them to their 100-day challenge?
There was much talk about foreclosure relief during the campaign. Not a word since being elected to high office. There was talk about no victimization. More talk and the beat goes on. There was talk about swift justice but the attorney general says that she does not have a clue as to much of the statistics.
Cases are still piling up and alleged criminals are still walking the streets, but the commissioner of police crows that crime has gone down.
The good people of The Bahamas cannot and will not wait much longer to actually see, touch and feel the implementation of those programs highlighted by the PLP during the campaign. Its propaganda machinery seems to have gone south since the general election. Some say it is too soon to expect more from the Christie administration. Others believe that the former prime minister is still large and in charge and that he, so they say, still believes that he is better than all the rest.
I really felt bad for my good friend Dr. Hubert A. Minnis, so-called de facto leader of the humiliated FNM, during the one-man press conference convened by you know who. Dr. Minnis was a mere prop and stage figure while the one-man band dominated the press conference. In fact, Dr. Minnis did himself little justice, if any, during the same.
We cannot wait much longer on a government which is allowing a shell-shocked one-man band to dictate its agenda and time table relative to national events. Let the political dead rest in peace.
To God then, in all things, be the glory.

- Ortland H. Bodie Jr.

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News Article

April 30, 2014
Bid to improve cyber security

THE government said it has embarked on the development of a national cyber security strategy that will further strengthen the country's data protection capabilities by strengthening cyber crime legislation in the Bahamas.

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News Article
Catch the soothing vocals of Naomi Taylor at the Hilton
July 15, 2011
Catch the soothing vocals of Naomi Taylor at the Hilton

The scene in the Bullion bar at the British Colonial Hilton is already the cool relaxed vibe that you're looking for. Add in the soothing jazz vocals of Naomi Taylor backed by the band Vice Versa to listen to as you sip on a delicious libation and you've got two evenings known as Jazz at the Hilton on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

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News Article

June 18, 2012
ECLAC projects 2.8 GDP growth for 2012

The Bahamas is projected to experience a 2.8 percent growth in its gross domestic product (GDP), according to a recent United Nations report, with fiscal measures and tourism activity considered critical factors to achieve the positive increase.
The 2012 Macroeconomic Report on Latin America and the Caribbean, conducted by the Economic Commission of Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), revealed the potential uptick in GDP for the country.
Despite the challenges, there is still room for growth.
"The economy continues to recover, with growth edging up from 0.2 percent in 2010 to 1.6 percent in 2011," said a statement from the report. "The upturn in activity was driven by the tourism sector, which benefited from increased receipts from the higher value added stopover segment. Nevertheless, in a reversal of the situation before the crisis, higher fiscal deficits and escalating debt now present a major challenge to the economy.
"Therefore, a program of fiscal consolidation, supported by measures to boost the competitiveness of the tourism sector, will be an important part of the policy mix to achieve stable growth."
The report mentioned that the steady recovery of the United States economy was a key factor in the slight economic improvement in The Bahamas in 2011, evidenced by a 1.6 percent growth in real GDP. Increased activity in the tourism and construction sector during that year was beneficial, along with higher activity in the offshore financial services leading to improved investor confidence. Retail trade rose by 8.3 percent during 2011 as a consequence of the tourism activity, but real estate and commerce activity dropped by 4.1 percent.
The ECLAC report also highlighted other Caribbean countries that are expected to experience GDP growth in 2012, with Haiti leading the charge. Haiti is projected to have eight percent growth in 2012, followed by the Dominican Republic at 4.5 percent. Trinidad and Tobago is expected to have 1.7 percent growth, while Jamaica and Barbados are each projected to have a one percent improvement.
Activity in the first quarter of 2012 in certain areas such as construction and tourism have proven to be encouraging for The Bahamas, according to the report, but inflation and monetary conditions will pose a challenge going forward.
"Inflation is expected to increase marginally, influenced by firmer activity and high fuel prices," the report said. "The fiscal deficit is expected to grow as the new government implements key programs in its manifesto. Meanwhile, the balance-of-payments current account deficit is projected to widen as a result of the high bill for oil and other imports required for major projects."
The report in its entirety can be viewed on www.eclac.org.

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