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News Article

March 01, 2013
'In the Ring': A commonwealth secretary-general's memoir

o On 26 February, Sir Ronald Sanders was invited to launch "In the Ring", a Commonwealth memoir written by Sir Donald McKinnon former secretary-general of the Commonwealth (2000-2008), at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. This article is adapted from Sanders' remarks.

No secretary-general of the Commonwealth has an easy time. Building consensus among countries large and small, rich and poor, black and white is extremely challenging, and, in the course of it, secretaries-general are not only referees, sometimes they become the punching bag. In this context, Sir Don McKinnon's Commonwealth memoir is appropriately titled: "In the Ring".The book is remarkable for its frank account of the events that led up to Robert Mugabe's withdrawal of Zimbabwe from the Commonwealth in 2003. Mugabe took that action when it was evident that Commonwealth heads of government would make the decision to suspend Zimbabwe following seriously flawed elections. Inevitably, the secretary-general was made the villain of the peace.However, as Don relates in the book, his own reflection over Zimbabwe was more "in sorrow than in anger". No secretary-general relishes the suspension, expulsion or withdrawal of a member-state under his watch. And, Don bent over backwards to encourage President Mugabe to remain faithful to the Commonwealth's Harare Principles - principles that were agreed by all Commonwealth heads at a meeting chaired by Mugabe himself.No one is the more accountable custodian of the Commonwealth's collective values than the secretary-general. His primary touchstone is the values and principles to which all Commonwealth governments subscribe not only as a condition of their entry to the organization but as a sine qua non for keeping such membership. As Don rightly observes in his book, "The Commonwealth and its institutions had to be protected."Don's account of his efforts to engage Mugabe even after he had withdrawn Zimbabwe is an untold story which deserves to be known. And, Don has told it with clarity but also with a sense of disappointment and frustration. He has also not deprived his readers of an appreciation of the tensions that develop among heads of government in their decision-making on thorny issues.That tension makes the secretary-general's job a lot harder, particularly when it occurs among the Troika - the three heads of government - the past chair, the present chair and the incoming chair. The secretary-general has to look to them for guidance over how to deal with another head of government such as Mugabe who rode roughshod over Commonwealth values in pursuit of his own narrow political agenda. This memoir gives a full account of the tensions, the differences and even the vexations that occurred within the Troika. It is a frank insight into the contest between efforts to preserve the Commonwealth's shared values and the desire by a small number of heads of government to protect a fellow head of government who had thrown those values to the wind.Of particular interest is Don's account of the remarkable role played by P.J. Patterson, the prime minister of Jamaica, a small Commonwealth state, in the heads of government reaching a unanimous decision to continue the suspension of Zimbabwe. Don describes Patterson's intervention as a "tour de force". "We are dealing with two almost irreconcilable positions and we have a consensus," Don reports Patterson as saying. "Certainly not everybody is happy, but we must not now show a split." Patterson's legal and political skills impressed the room and Commonwealth agreement was preserved. So was its commitment to its declared values. If Don's candid account of the tribulations that surrounded Zimbabwe is not a sufficiently compelling story of the secretary-general's challenging role in the Commonwealth ring, then his experience over suspended Pakistan under President Musharraf completes the tale.As secretary-general he was invited by the British government to the Lord Chancellor's dinner for President Musharraf who was visiting Britain officially. This was in the wake of the 9/11 atrocities in the United States when Pakistan had overnight become the new "best friend" of the governments of Britain and the United States.But, at the time, Pakistan was suspended from the councils of the Commonwealth over very doubtful democratic institutions. Don did not regard Musharraf's visit to London as a good thing. As he said in his well-known forthright manner, it would not have happened to Fiji, Nigeria or Zimbabwe while they were suspended. It was, as he said, an example of one policy for the Commonwealth and another policy for bilateral relations. He was then promptly "uninvited" from the dinner, before being "re-invited" by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, but placed at a table out of sight. Quite rightly Don declined the re-invitation. He had "no intention of being a pawn in their game".This was not the only occasion when a government expected the secretary-general to act in its interest. But, as he pointed out to another government, the secretary-general "has to work for the collective Commonwealth good, not just advance the view of one country".

Indeed, every secretary-general, however deeply involved he was in the affairs of his own country and its interests in the Commonwealth and the international community, has to leave that baggage at the entrance door of Marlborough House. He must become de-nationalized, color blind, non-aligned religiously and re-constructed as a Commonwealth being - whole and entire. Don McKinnon became that body as every secretary-general has had to do.When a senior British Foreign Office official, who insisted that Britain, as the biggest contributor to the secretariat's funding, should always hold the post of deputy secretary-general, Don told him that not only was Britain not getting the post, it also would not permanently be on the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group.Thirty-two of the Commonwealth's 54 members are small states with problems and challenges that are peculiar to their vulnerabilities and lack of capacity to stand-up to powerful organizations such as the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).When Commonwealth small states were being pummelled by the OECD over "harmful tax competition", Don in his full Commonwealth regalia - his OECD membership card as former foreign minister of New Zealand firmly put away - championed the cause of the Commonwealth's constituency of small states and curtailed bullying and an uneven playing field. As a chronicle that is as frank in its content as it is wide in its telling of the inner workings of life in the ring of the Commonwealth, Don McKinnon's memoir is compulsory reading.

Note: "In the Ring" by Don McKinnon is published by Elliott and Thompson, London.

o Sir Ronald Sanders is a consultant and visiting fellow, London University. Send responses to: www.sirronaldsanders.com. Published with the permission of caribbeannewsnow.com.

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News Article

October 01, 2014
The 242 Colour Run makes a splash with 5K race

Hundreds ran, walked, hopped, skipped and jumped across the finish line in the 242 Colour Run on Sunday, a fun five kilometer (5K) race designed for everyone, of all ages and abilities.
Sponsors included KLG Investments Ltd., manufacturers of Aquapure water and high quality and value-added Tampico fruit punches that are rooted in bright, vibrant color. It was the perfect complement to the 242 Colour Run.
"We are proud to be a sponsor of such a great event for a second consecutive year. The Colour Run is about community and celebration, and it's a healthy activity. Our Tampico brand is all about color, getting together with family and friends and celebrating a healthy lifestyle," said Geoffrey Knowles, operations manager at Aquapure.
The race started at the Montagu Foreshore with a big splash of colour. Participants, many of whom dressed up for the race, were doused in colored powder at the starting line and as they made their way through the course.
"The 242 Colour Run is designed to be a family-friendly race," said organizer Lee McCoy, of Paradise Race Organization Management Promotion and Timing. "We envisioned it being a fun way for friends, family and co-workers to get together and have a good time, to meet like-minded people and to celebrate life. It truly is a happy, feel-good event."
The Rotary Club of East Nassau and the Rotaract Club of East Nassau both benefit from the 242 Colour Run, which this year recorded more than 500 registrants. Both clubs are very active in the community and support a number of programs, including the Fox Hill Run, a 40-year-old program that provides assistance for needy families in the community. Other sponsors of the 242 Colour Run included Vita Coco, H2Aloe and Green Parrot, among others.
Said Mr. Knowles: "The 242 Colour Run was a fun way of combining healthy living, happiness and to give back to the community at the same time. We were happy to be a part of this event."
The race is also held in Grand Bahama and Abaco, and there are plans to organize an event in Eleuthera as well.

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News Article

November 08, 2011
Witness: Car fatally hit murder victim

A motorist fled the scene after knocking down and killing a man with his car, a Supreme Court jury heard yesterday.
Prosecutors have accused Tyrone Francis of the murder of Jonathan Linden on October 10, 2009.  In his opening statement, prosecutor Eucal Bonaby promised to produce evidence that showed Francis and the deceased had an argument at a Royal Castle restaurant shortly before the incident.
Jerome Charlton, who witnessed the incident, testified that a car that approached from behind dragged Linden more than 100 feet as he walked south along Baillou Hill Road.
Charlton said he, Linden, and another man, Elvardo Johnson, were walking single file along Baillou Hill Road when the incident occurred around 3 a.m.
According to Charlton, he saw when the driver escaped from the car through the passenger's side window following the incident and ran towards King Street.
Charlton said another man remained in the car.  According to him this man also tried to get away, but he told him, "You're not going anywhere."
Charlton said he restrained the man, who punched him in the eye in an attempt to escape.  Charlton said he, in turn, punched the man in the stomach.
During cross-examination by defense lawyer Murrio Ducille, Charlton denied that anyone threw objects at the car, which caused the vehicle to swerve and crash.  Charlton strenuously denied this suggestion and he pointed out that the car approached him from behind.
The trial continues before Supreme Court Justice Vera Watkins today.

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News Article

October 29, 2011
Williams vs Ziausys

In his first fight since going"blow for blow"with the five time heavyweight champion, Evander Holyfield, Bahamian professional boxer Sherman"Tank"Williams said he is"ready to let the caged up lion out and destroy".

His return to the ring will put him up against the Lithuanian boxer Remigijus Ziausys on Friday, November 4 at the Khodynka Ice Palace in Moscow, Russia. Williams is one of three heavyweight boxers on the under card. He will go 10 rounds. The main 12-rounder will be contested by Denis Lebedev and James Toney, in the cruiserweight division. Fighting as co-main are Alexander Bakhtin and Luis Melendez. That too is scheduled for 12 rounds.

Over the past few weeks, Williams' got it on' with Lebedev, training in the cold Moscow weather. Sparring sessions were held twice a day, allowing both Williams and Lebedev to get a good workout.

Williams said: "The boxer who I was supposed to fight, the guy got a fractured hand or something so that fight will be postponed. Ziausys, he just signed on and I don't know too much about him. During that time, I still was able to train with Denis. Our styles are similar. I guess, after they reviewed the Holyfield fight they decided to invite me over and let me train with Denis to help him prepare for his fight. They then offered me a spot on the under card and I took it.

"The training is going very well. The first week I was basically adjusting to the time difference and the weather. It is extremely cold and they are eight hours ahead of the time I am use to. The Russians have a different format of training for professional fights. We've been training two sessions a day, one at 7 a.m. and next at 2 p.m. For me, it has been enjoyable. I was able to work on my usual tactics and style, which is inside fighting and using the jab, closing the distance while throwing a mirage of straight rights and left hooks to the body and head. My execution has been good. Training has been going great. Both Denis and myself have benefited greatly from the training over the last four weeks."

The four-week training session came to an end yesterday for Williams and Lebedev, who will now turn their attention to their bouts. The Freeport native, Williams, said he is comfortable and ready to take care of business. His game plan is simple. If his opponent decides to run, Williams said he will cut him off. Keeping him off the rope is another key for Williams, who said"raining blows will be an understatement."

An immediate knockout is not a part of the plan, but if the opportunity presents itself, Williams said he will definitely land the blow."I feel strong and ready to go," said Williams."If the opportunity comes, there is no reason why I should not let go with my overhand right and left hook. If I can connect with those punches, it will be the same results in my last fight with Holyfield."

Williams fought Holyfield in January of this year. The bout was set for 12 rounds but was stopped in the third and ruled a no-contest. As of now, Williams has a win/loss record of 34 wins-19 KO and 11 losses, two draws.

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News Article

November 12, 2011
Joe's Aggressive Style Created Rich Legacy

Joe Frazier was beaten just four times in one of the great careers in the history of boxing.  He went down in defeat in those four bouts to only two men, George Foreman and Muhammad Ali, twice each.
He was valiant and a man of honor and courage. When the all-time best boxers are ranked however, he never makes the top 10.  There are boxers who pound-for-pound were not better than Smokin' Joe but they were able to dominate their eras for longer periods and thus they are rated higher.
The reality of the situation is that Frazier was a victim of fate. He just happened to have a glowing career that was overlapped by Ali. That was an obstacle that none of the other excellent heavyweights through the years would have been able to overcome.
You can name them. If Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano would have had the misfortunate to compete at the height of their careers during the time of Muhammad Ali, they also would have certainly been upstaged.
To Frazier's credit, in my view, he fared better against Ali than any of the other great heavyweights would have. It's simple.  Styles make for great matchups. Frazier with his buzz saw, perpetual motion manner in the ring, proved to be quite difficult for Ali in two of their three contests.
Johnson was a smaller, slower version of Ali (or a younger Cassius Clay as was his birth name). He would have done no better against Ali than Floyd Patterson did in two humiliating defeats.
Jack Dempsey, who was before Johnson's time, was even smaller and would have been no match to the self-proclaimed and later widely acknowledged "greatest of all time."
Joe Louis shuffled trying to get in range for his devastating left hook.  Ali would have at the very least, frustrated him tremendously. Louis in my view would have done no better than Sonny Liston who was stopped by Clay in 1964 for the first of three title victories.
Marciano had the heavy punches. Nevertheless, he would not have been a good match for Ali. Marciano was ferocious, but he bled easily. Ali would have had an easy time with Marciano, I feel.
Joe Frazier was another story.
The famous statement made by Ali after the final of their trilogy was: "It was like death.
Although he was unfortunate to emerge as a fistic force in the same era as Ali, the three fights they had, defined Frazier like nothing else that happened in 37 ring battles (32-4-1). Foreman had a style that Frazier, being much smaller, could not solve.
With Ali, it was different.
Perhaps because of the critical remarks Ali sent Frazier's way often, the man from Philadelphia was always sky high when they faced each other. He bore up under the jeers from his nemesis better than any other before him. In the ring, he matched Ali over 41 rounds almost blow for blow.
In their first bout on March 8, 1971, he captured the so-called 'Fight of the Century' when he knocked Ali down on the way to a 15-round decision. They met again in 1974 over 12 rounds and Ali was the clear winner.
Then came the "Thriller in Manila " of 1975. Arguably, a better battle than the one in 1971 was contested by the two warriors. In the end, after a serious of bruising rounds, trainer Eddie Futch became concerned about the terrific pounding Frazier took in the 13th and particularly 14th round. He didn't allow his fighter to go out for the 15th.
Ali later paid Frazier an even better compliment than the "like death' remark.
He said, with a sly smile, "he's the greatest fighter of all time, next to me."
If you take Ali out of his life, Frazier would be ranked right up there with Johnson, Dempsey, Louis and Marciano, definitely.
Here in The Bahamas Frazier always had his share of fans who pulled mightily for him, especially when he and Ali met. There are those like my friends Ira Smith and Bert Perry who actually saw Frazier as the better fighter.
He wasn't better by any stretch of the imagination. However, he was surely one of the true greats.
I close with this tribute from Paul Bevans.
"I was fortunate to call him friend. I met this legend in the late 1980s while working with the Bahamas Tourist Office in Philadelphia. He referred to me as "Bahamas."
"Joe did a lot to rehabilitate the young men in the Philadelphia-South Jersey area. Many of these men came straight out of prison to Joe, seeking shelter at Frazier's Broad Street Gym. Joe had room and board set up there. He and his son Marvis would teach them the sport of boxing and he would also secure jobs for them.
"I have very fond memories of this great boxing legend like the weekend, he invited me to Scranton to attend a fight with him and Marvis. It was the debut of one of his young fighters. The following morning, at breakfast, he introduced me to another legend, Jose Torres (former world light heavyweight champion). One Sunday morning he called me: 'Bahamas, you had breakfast yet? Come over. '
"When I got there he asked: 'How many boiled eggs you want?' He was a comedian. We had boiled eggs, wheat toast and tea. As I looked at all of his historic photos and memorabilia, I was amazed. Joe Frazier, even though he was a celebrity, was very humble. It was truly a favor (for me) to have access to such a sports legend. After hearing of his passing, I could only reminisce as I looked at the autographed boxing gloves and the personal photographs he had blessed me with, one with him training for the "Thriller In Manila."
"What a man!"
Indeed.
May the soul of Smokin' Joe Frazier forever rest in peace.
 
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at fredericksturrup@gmail.com).

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News Article
Embassies raise money
May 26, 2010
Embassies raise money

The parking lot of the Organisation of American States was festooned on Sunday with the colours of flags from across the hemisphere, as The Bahamas and about 20 other embassies raised money for charity at the annual Food Festival of The Americas

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News Article

July 14, 2014
Strikers hosts boxers from the New Jersey area

The Strikers Boxing Club hosted 'The Chosen Ones' Boxing Show on Saturday night at the Enoch Backford Auditorium. The fighters from Strikers went up against fighters from boxing clubs in the New Jersey area, as the fight card consisted of three fights, each lasting three rounds.
In the first bout, Strikers' fighter Kendric Stuart went up against Bayonne PAL Boxing Club fighter Brian Palz. It was a tough fight that lasted all three rounds, but in the end it was Palz who pulled out the victory.
Both fighters came out aggressive from the opening bell and landed big punches. Palz was the more experienced fighter and it showed throughout the fight. He spent a lot of time on the defensive end, allowing Stuart to punch himself out before he began his cerebral attack with stiff jabs and counter hooks. Although Stuart gave a valiant effort, Palz's experience was too much to overcome.
"It was a good experience, he was a tough kid. He kept coming forward and kept throwing punches. I just had a little more experience. I was just trying to block and let him tire himself out a little bit," said Palz.
"I improved a lot but there is still some things that I have to work on. My opponent was a great fighter and it was a good fight. If I could change anything, I would probably work a bit more on my conditioning and listen to my corner a little more," said Strachan.
The second bout featured two heavyweights, Amron Sands of Strikers taking on Nicoy Clarke from the Renegade Boxing Club in New Jersey. Sands prevailed.
Sands had the speed advantage over Clarke and used it to keep his opponent at a
distance. Clarke tried to corner Sands for most of the fight so that he could use his weight advantage to wear him down, but Sands kept his feet moving and threw short jabs on the run. The stiff punches eventually wore Clarke down and allowed Sands to escape with the win.
"The fight was very good. The guy I fought was very competitive and he put up a good fight. The crowd support that we got out here tonight is very encouraging as well," said Sands.
"This is one of the best experiences in my life. I'm originally from Jamaica and haven't been to the islands in a while, so to come here was great. I underestimated my opponent's strength. The boy was strong, but in all it was a good experience and I'll be back again," said Clarke.
The main event featured two middleweights, Daniel Murray from the Middleton Boxing Club taking on Bahamian boxer Tyrone Oliver. Murray won a three-round decision that had the crowd on its feet the entire time. Both fighters were extremely quick and agile. They chased each other around the ring throwing wild combinations and looking for openings to land big punches. Although they both threw their share of punches, Murray landed them at a higher rate of efficiency. He was under control throughout the exchanges and counter punched after a lot of Oliver's wild punches. That poise and control is what separated the two fighters, and it is what allowed Murray to emerge victorious.
"The fight was good, he was a tough opponent but I just jabbed him and fought him smarter. The first round was good. I won that completely because I jabbed and threw more right hands. He has good power, but he just needs to calm down and be a smarter fighter," said Murray.
Strikers Boxing brought in some of the top amateur fighters from the New Jersey area for the event, and long-time friend of the club and Head Coach at the Orlando Boxing Academy, Jose Cruz, played a major role in making it all possible. He and Strikers coach Ronn Rodgers realized the potential that the fighters on the island have, and want to try and give them some exposure to help in their development.
"Ronn Rodgers put this show together with heart and soul. He put this together with his own money and with his own people helping him. He needs support. These kids have the potential to be great, but if we don't nurture their skills and help them it's never going to happen. I'm here to help Ronn. I will be here all the time. The Orlando Boxing Academy is going to continue to help get the boxing program off the ground here, but if we don't do it with Ronn Rodgers, it's never going to happen. We need him to continue to do this type of work," said Cruz.
The show on Saturday night attracted a crowd that was energized all night. The size of the crowd could be impacted further if Rodgers gets backed by the right sponsors, which is something that both he and Cruz would like to see happen for the sport of boxing here in the country. Rodgers is also looking at a possible switch to an alternative venue.
"It took a lot of energy, effort, organizing and planning. We had three fights, but we scheduled for seven. We had some no-shows. I don't know why but it still came together pretty good. We got a chance to showcase the boxing talent here in the country," said Rodgers.
"Jose Cruz helped me when we went to the 2014 Florida Golden Gloves. He assisted me with some of my fighters over there. We came back with victories, and for the first time in the history of The Bahamas we won the Florida Golden Gloves event. He helps to teach them a new style of fighting so that they can compete at the world level."
As the month of July moves on, boxers in the Strikers Boxing Club are expected to participate in more shows.

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News Article

May 05, 2014
Ferguson defends police over Cash matter

Assistant Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson defended the actions of the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) yesterday in relation to a search and seizure of items at the home of Free National Movement (FNM) Chairman Darron Cash.
"The police force is a professional organization with a professional group of persons in Cyber Crime who understand the law and their authority to do certain things," said Ferguson when contacted for comment.
He said he did not want to be caught in a back and forth between politicians, but stressed that he has "no doubt that [the officers in question] would have acted within the guidelines that they have".
"I haven't gotten any information about any adverse things happening while at the residence from anybody. Nobody contacted me and said the police acted inappropriately," he said.
On Thursday, three officers seized two laptop computers and a smartphone from Cash's Cable Beach home, reportedly in relation to a probe into the alleged leak of confidential information from Bank of The Bahamas (BOB).
Since the incident, the RBPF has come under fire from the opposition.
Cash's lawyer, FNM Senator Carl Bethel, claimed the items were "physically grabbed from [Cash's] hands and taken by the police, who refused to deliver or to leave a copy of the 'search warrant' with Mr. Cash".
When asked about this, Ferguson said police are mandated to show a search warrant before executing one at a person's home. He said he does not doubt that the warrant was produced.
Bethel told The Nassau Guardian that he filed a notice of originating motion in the Supreme Court on Thursday, which will begin the process of determining whether the police followed lawful protocol in the execution of their duties.
He said the matter will be heard by Senior Justice Jon Isaacs on Wednesday.
"They had no reasonable or probable cause to act the way they did," Bethel said last week.
"Based on the information we have so far, they did not act with the authority of the law, but we will see how that plays out in the evidence."
The Nassau Guardian also contacted Deputy Commissioner Quinn McCartney about the issue yesterday; however, he said he was not in a position to comment.
Cash has spoken out on several matters related to BOB in the last several months.
He released a series of press statements on issues regarding the bank.
In one of those statements, he raised concerns about reports that the bank was being used as a political tool and called for a select committee to be established in the House of Assembly to scrutinize the extent to which public funds are at risk at BOB.
Both Prime Minister Perry Christie and BOB Managing Director Paul McWeeney strongly denied that the bank's funds were at risk.
BOB pledged to sue The Punch newspaper, which has repeatedly made these allegations. The bank also announced several weeks ago that it was investigating the leak.

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News Article

March 15, 2012
The power of politics

Dear Editor,

It was once written by a noted British scholar (Lord Acton) that: "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". Whether or not that dictum applies to The Bahamas is a matter for partisan dispute. No one, however, can or should deny that the jockeying for political ascendency in our country is now in full swing.
The first few weeks on the campaign trail have brought out the 'worst' features of our so-called democracy. Instead of dealing with and debating the real issues which confront our nation our politicians have descended to the level of apparent mudslinging, character assassinations and downright nasty diatribes and tirades.
The fact that we have an acknowledged 15.1 percent unemployment here in New Providence and some 21.2 percent in Grand Bahama seems to mean absolutely nothing to our so-called leaders. The cost overrun on the New Providence Road Improvement Project exceeds $67 million. Fox Hill Prison is full to the brim and ain't nobody checking, apparently. High utility costs and energy bills are crippling the majority of us.
Our educational plant is badly broken and our schools are mass producing grade 'D' graduates. Alleged homicides are off the chart and our leaders are 'blaming' everyone except themselves. The 'reds' say, boldly, that they are not scared. While the 'gold' say that they are ready now. The 'greens' say give us a chance. The rest say that they are on a 'mission' from God. Mind you, all of these bogus cliches are being uttered while the nation is rapidly declining into the status, I submit, of a failed state.
Politics in The Bahamas has now evolved into a childish game of you say and I say. The major parties and their leaders are consumed with either retaining power or with reclaiming the same as a matter of entitlement and divine right. The wannabes and their cronies 'know-it-all' with absolutely no track record or antecedents. Some of them think that governance of The Bahamas is like playing doll house where they all want to be 'the daddy'. Well blow me down!
It is regrettable that a large majority of Bahamians play right into the 'clean' and not so 'clean' hands of our politicians and wannabes every five years like clockwork. They are offered governmental jobs; so-called low cost housing; a few crumbs from the masters' table and the beat goes on. We have never had a five, much less a ten, year national development plan. All it is about, apparently, is a cockeyed focus on the next general election.
Esau, according to the Bible, sold his birthright for a mess of porridge or was it a bowl of okra soup? Whatever it was, he was never the same since. That is akin to what we witness in our country with great regularity. It is all, seemingly, all about who can play the blame games best or who is able to talk patented stupidity about cookie jars, tin gods, iron men and bamboo women. It is not, if it ever was, about empowering the average Bahamian and laying out long-range plans for national development.
We have two political figures who have dominated the landscape for three decades and we seem to 'fear' their eventual and inevitable exit from center stage. They are both, I submit, on their last political legs, but like two protagonists in the arena, possibly punch drunk, they continue to stumble on.
There are four crucial areas which we as a people need to address and address now. Youth recidivism, rehabilitation and development are at the top of the list. Sustainable job growth and meaningful employment in both the public and private sectors are essential.
The availability of affordable residential building tracts has long been talked about by all of our politicians but few of them would have conceptualized, much less executed, such a policy in a real way. Crime and the lack of swift and certain punishment are literally 'killing' all of us and act as debilitating deterrents to viable economic growth.
I hope that this missive is not taken as an indictment on the collective nation because it is not meant to be. This is a clear assessment of the stark fact that we are 'in trouble' and the power of politics is being played out right in front of our eyes in living color.
Some say that Prime Minister Hubert A. Ingraham is a decisive and strong leader. Others say that Opposition Leader Perry Gladstone Christie is too much of a consensus and consultative leader. No one, to my
knowledge, has yet to characterize Branville McCartney (Democratic National Alliance Leader, Bamboo Town) or any of the other prime ministers in waiting.
Whatever anyone may say or suggest, however, it is now patently clear that The Bahamas needs a mixture of a 'strong' and a 'consultative' leader. It cannot continue where one leader is uncouth, possibly, while the other is perceived as 'too soft'. We deserve and demand better than this. The time may well have arrived when we need to get past the scenario where our leaders are mere lawyers.
I do believe that Sir Orville Turnquest, former member of Parliament, deputy prime minister and governor general, is the 'best' prime minister that we never had. Yes, he is a lawyer by profession, but he is also a warm and compassionate man whose entire life has been devoted to national development on a grand scale.
Sir Orville took political positions which were decidedly unpopular and physically dangerous back in the 1960s. He was an active participant in all of the constitutional advances of the nation. When persons like the current prime minister and the leader of the opposition were still wearing short pants, Sir Orville was in the trenches making sure that one day, they too would rise to political ascendency.
In any event, the power of politics is being played out. Thank God, mercifully, that the proverbial bell must be rung soon and this dysfunctional 'Greek tragedy' will play itself out. To God then, in all of these mundane things, be the glory.

- Ortland H. Bodie Jr.

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News Article

January 07, 2014
Domestic violence can take many forms

Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, battering, family violence, dating abuse, and intimate partner violence (IPV), is a pattern of behavior which involves the abuse by one partner against another in an intimate relationship. This can include marriage, cohabitation, dating or within the family. Domestic violence can take many forms, including physical aggression or assault (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, slapping, throwing objects, battery), or threats thereof, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, controlling or domineering, intimidation, stalking, passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect) and economic deprivation.
Another form of domestic violence is gender-based violence. All forms of domestic violence are connected to the cycle of violence that occurs in relationships of all types.
Gender-based violence
Gender-based violence (GBV) is violence that is directed against a person on the basis of gender. It constitutes a breach of the fundamental right to life, liberty, security, and dignity, equality between women and men, non-discrimination and physical and mental integrity. Although most gender-based violence is inflicted by men on women and girls, both males and females can be affected victims.
The cycle of violence
The term cycle of violence refers to repeated and dangerous acts of violence as a cyclical pattern, associated with high emotions and doctrines of retribution or revenge. The pattern, or cycle, repeats and can happen many times during a relationship. Each phase may last a different length of time and over time the level of violence may increase.
The look of the cycle of violence
The cycle of violence can be broken into three main phases:
o Tension building phase: Woman can sense irritability. Feels she can and must resolve situation. Withdraws from partner. Partner senses her withdrawal. Tension increases. Sometimes a woman may ignite situation to get it over with.
o Explosion phase: Shortest of stages lasting from five minutes or five days. This is usually the stage where the abuse will occur. Abuse ranges from pushing, shoving, kicking, punching, to the use of weapons.
o Honeymoon phase: This is the part of the entire cycle where many persons are caught up in the cycle. This makes it difficult to break away from the abuser. During this phase the abuser usually says, "I'm sorry" and "It will never happen again." They give assurances of being penitent and regretful. They give you flowers, gifts and usually anything to appease you. The abused gets caught in a cycle of denial of the incident and minimizing the hurt inflicted and the experience.
Due to this repeated cycle many victims are lulled during the honeymoon phase when their abuser(s) act normal and give assurances that everything will be okay and that the abuse will not reoccur.
With domestic and gender-based violence on the rise, it is important for victims and potential victims to be aware of their fundamental rights and also of the various legal and other mechanisms available to them.
Protect yourself
The Domestic Violence Protection Orders Act 2010 (DVPOA) was enacted by Parliament in 2010 yet many persons are unaware of the various remedies it provides, which can be used as instructive ammunition in assisting the fight against domestic violence.
As a result of this legislation, victims are able to seek and enforce swift justice without being burdened and discouraged by the cumbersome processes of having perpetrators either bound over to keep the peace or otherwise brought before the courts on charges of assault, threats of harm or other domestic related offences.
Offense under the DVPOA
Within the definition of the Act, domestic violence includes physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or financial abuse committed by a person against a spouse, partner, child, or any other person who is a member of the household or dependent. This also would include gender-based violence.
Protection order under the DVPOA
A protection order is an order of protection for victims who experience domestic violence in the form of a legal injunction which prohibits or requires a party to do or refrain from doing certain acts. A person who does not comply with an order for protection faces penalties which include a fine up to $5,000 or up to 12 months imprisonment.
Once an offence has been committed, a victim should make an immediate application for a protection order through the magistrate courts. The usual process takes between one to three weeks from the time the initial application is made and the order is granted.
Emergency protection order
The courts have the discretion to grant interim protections orders, or emergency protection orders on the same day that a victim appears in court. If there is a compelling reason and the victim is in legitimate fear for life or harm, the court, after hearing the evidence on oath, has the discretion to grant an order for protection prior to having a perpetrator officially brought before the court.
Legal representation
Victims can appear before the courts on their own along with any relevant documentary evidence to support the application, and will be required to make an oath before a magistrate, who will grant the protection order having heard the evidence of the victim and being satisfied that a protection order is necessary. There are circumstances however, depending on the nature and seriousness of cases where representation by an attorney will be the preferred route.
Benefits of a protection order
Once a protection order is granted, a perfected order can be produced to the police and, or, the department of social services. If the protection order is not obeyed perpetrators may face a fine of up to $5,000 or imprisonment or both. The penalties attached to these orders are very strict and therefore a deterrent to committing further domestic-related offence, or otherwise breaching an order for protection.

o If you would like to talk to someone about anything that is bothering you, please call 328-0922 or 322-4999. For more information check out our website at www.bahamascrisiscentre.org or contact us. Email us at bahamascrisiscentre@yahoo.com or call us.

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