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News Article
Government has no confidence in Bahamian talent
Government has no confidence in Bahamian talent

Criticizing the Ministry of Tourism's '14 Islands Film Challenge', educator and columnist Nicolette Bethel said she doubts the project will have lasting effects and wonders at the governments lack of faith in local talent.

The ministry's competition will award $21,000 (converted from pounds) for the best films about The Bahamas and some of the footage may end up in future tourism campaigns. Only filmmakers from the United Kingdom were eligible, drawing criticism and leading about a dozen filmmakers and photographers, including Bahamas Film Festival founder and director Celi Moss, to protest in a demonstration on George Street, calling on the government to encourage local talent first.

Click the link to for a link to the trailer.

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News Article
Government needs to move forward with urgency

Dear Editor,
The investment climate report released by the United States Department of State has hurt our country and we might see negative reactions in the short term, something that our country does not need at this juncture. We risk having longer unfavorable effects if we don't step up to the plate now and begin to make much needed changes.
I have watched our government waste time, castigate groups and even private citizens about the source of the investment climate report, when in reality they should be moving with haste to repair our broken system. A simple survey by the Department of Statistics today would overwhelmingly show that the Bahamian people for years have known that contracts are awarded to political cronies and that the disregard for law and order at all government levels is endemic.
Any civil servant who can hear and see can tell you that there is political interference in all government ministries. This is just the norm. Let us not fool ourselves. This is The Bahamas we all know and we all know what goes on in the back room and many times in plain sight.
The government of the day has a unique opportunity to finally right a lot of the wrong that goes on in the issuance of contracts and they can begin the steps to regaining the people's trust. All this talk about being puzzled or confused and who wrote the report is just a deliberate attempt at wasting the Bahamian people's time.
The jury is out Bahamians. The stench of our dirty laundry has hit international airwaves. The way we issue contracts has come into question and is now known internationally. I appeal to all Cabinet ministers, senior government officials and anyone else charged with governance to please let's get on with it. Let's stop skylarking and pass the Freedom of Information Act. Let's enforce the Bribery Act. Let's award contracts on merit and not on party allegiance. Let's enforce the laws of the country regardless of whom it may affect and let transparency reign. Let's all start to peel away at this hole that we have dug for ourselves.
Notwithstanding that this debilitating culture of outright corruption is entrenched in many Bahamians, if the status quo remains we will find that our reputation will again come into question in the international arena. It's time to take corrective action Perry Christie and Philip Davis. It starts with you two leading the way. On the eve of our independence, let's move forward together with a renewed sense of urgency.
- Dehavilland Moss

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News Article
Government to be commended for salary advance

Dear Editor,
 
In a Bahamas where Bahamians collectively feel that successive governments have not had the will or the insight to empower Bahamians, I was ecstatic when I read a report which said that the government will be making it easier for civil servants with at least five years of service to purchase shares in the Arawak Cay Port Development Company (APD).  This offer is even being extended to civil servants who have been employed for more than five years but are paid on a weekly basis.
This initiative I am sure will increase the likelihood of more civil servants being able to purchase shares, given our contracting economy.  Bahamians need more acts like this from our government.  In fact, we need initiatives like these all the time, 100 percent of the time.
The salary advance, which is essentially a loan, will incur no interest over the allotted twelve-month period, a deal that no bank would have provided.  I implore all civil servants to apply to the Ministry of Finance before the deadline, and where possible make sacrifices to ensure that they become a part owner in APD because this is an excellent long-term investment.
I commend the government for its action in this instance.
- Dehavilland Moss

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News Article
Government to pay 18 million to BEC

By NOELLE NICOLLS
Tribune Staff Reporter
nnicolls@tribunemedia.net

THE Ministry of Finance plans to allocate $18 million to take a sizable chunk off the government's electricity debt.
In announcing the payment to the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) in the House of Assembly yesterday, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said there is "far too much wastage" in the public sector where energy consumption is concerned, and the government is "determined to make significant improvements.”
Last year, Michael Moss, BEC executive chairman said the government's account was $40 million in arrears.
Mr Ingraham said the government was trying "to do a better job at keeping current ...

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News Article
Government urged to 'sweeten pot' further for ZNS employees

By ALISON LOWE
Tribune Staff Reporter

alowe@tribunemedia.net

UNIONS representing ZNS line and managerial staff have appealed to the government to further "sweeten the pot" for ZNS employees who were offered severance packages, but the minister responsible said its unlikely any more money can be found to accommodate this.

Both Tommy Turnquest, Minister with responsibility for the Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas, and ZNS Chairman Michael Moss yesterday confirmed that the current total value of the severance packages already on offer is $4 million.

On Monday, the Bahamas Communication and Public Officers Union president Bernard Evans advised his union's membership not to ...

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News Article
Governor General Youth Award busy in Crooked Island

Colonel Hill, Crooked Island - Youths enrolled in an internationally recognized program are keeping busy on the remote Crooked Island.
A rare jewel in the Atlantic Ocean, Crooked Island is home to roughly 300 residents.  Fifteen of them are set to receive their Bronze Award from the Governor General's Youth Award program in a ceremony set for next month.
"The 15 who are getting their bronze are now working towards their silver," said Jerome Forbes, acting principal at the Crooked Island High School. "They have a two-day, one-night qualifying expedition [hike] coming up on February 29 to March 1.  The qualifying trek is about some 45 miles total. I t's not in a straight line.  They will take in the coast, before going inland and then back on the coast."
Forbes helped to form the first GGYA unit at the Crooked Island High School back in 2007, when he arrived on the island to assume a teaching position.  Prior to his Family Island posting Forbes had assisted with the GGYA unit at the C.C. Sweeting Senior High School in Nassau.
"The GGYA unit at this school was an eye-opener and a sudden hit with the students," he recalls.  "The students took part in community clean-ups.  They cleaned the yards of the elderly and also cleaned the coast during International Coastal Awareness Day.  Within the GGYA they learned first-aid and were introduced to the skill of surviving outdoors.  They  cooked and slept in their tents outdoors. Most importantly, they learned the value of team work."
During the summer of 2009, Crooked Island snagged the attention of other GGYA units when the Bahamas Award Scheme Expedition (BASE) was held there.
During BASE, GGYA units from across the country and a few units from the Caribbean come together to hike and qualify for various Awards.
"Crooked Island's population is only about 250 persons and to see another 150 individuals here was astounding," said Forbes.  "It was an experience for students from the other islands and countries, which included New Providence, Grand Bahama, Andros, Jamaica, Bermuda and others to get an opportunity to spend two weeks here."
In 2010, the Crooked Island unit witnessed two graduates of the GGYA program, Berkley Pinder and Macalister Beckles, return to lend a helping hand to younger participants.  Two weeks ago the men -- both 2009 graduates of the high school -- led a successful clean-up campaign at Major's Beach. This was part of GGYA's participants service hour, in order to qualify them for their Bronze Award.
"I served as the advisor to Mr. Pinder and Mr. Beckles. They came back to support the unit," said Forbes. "They remember the good and fulfilling experiences they had and they want to pass those good times onto others."
Recognizing the value of the GGYA the government lent its support to the program in 2010, when Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard announced a partnership with the GGYA through the G.O.L.D. Initiative -- an acronym for greatness, opportunity, leadership and development.
This partnership brought a significant financial contribution to the program in order to make it more available to Bahamians 14 to 25 years old, regardless of what island they called home.
Although her 19-year-old daughter, Dashanique Moss, has long graduated from Crooked Island High, Dorcas Moss continues to help out with the GGYA program.  She chaperones overnight hikes.
"The program is a good one," said Moss.  "I saw the difference in my daughter.  She's more outgoing now.  It's helped her a lot."
The GGYA is a member of the International Award Association for Young People, and is headquartered in the United Kingdom.  It is an exciting self-development program where participants improve their physical fitness, develop important skills, provide valuable community service and take adventurous journeys (hikes) in order to achieve a bronze, silver or gold award.
It takes a minimum of six months to obtain a Bronze Award, another six months to gain a Silver Award (if a Bronze recipient) and 12 months to get a Gold Award (if a Silver recipient).

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News Article
Govt 'should have consulted' before new Bill

ANTI-CRIME activist Rev CB Moss has expressed regret that the government did not consult more widely before drafting the new 'Marco Alert' sexual offender laws.

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News Article
Govt 'should have consulted' before new Bill

ANTI-CRIME activist Rev CB Moss has expressed regret that the government did not consult more widely before drafting the new 'Marco Alert' sexual offender laws...

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News Article
Govt Urged To 'Take Stand' On Gambling
Govt Urged To 'Take Stand' On Gambling

President of the Bahamas Christian Council Rev. Dr. Ranford Patterson yesterday urged the government to take responsibility for any decisions relating to legalizing gambling for Bahamians and "leave the people out of it".

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News Article
Govt appeals the road work project injunction

By TANEKA THOMPSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

tthompson@tribunemedia.net

GOVERNMENT has appealed the injunction granted by Supreme Court judge Justice Neville Adderley that stalled the road work project on Blue Hill Road and Market Streets.

Meantime, the Coconut Grove Business League that filed the suit against the government over the road project hope to meet with Minister of Works Neko Grant to come to an amicable solution before they meet again in court on September 21.

According to Paul Moss, one of the attorneys representing the league, a letter was sent to Mr Grant last week requesting a meeting. Up to press time he said the group received no word from Mr Grant.

Mr Moss said the ...

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News Article
Govt examining gas retailers' request, says BPRA boss

State Minister for the Environment Phenton Neymour, who is also responsible for the petroleum sector, met with the Bahamas Petroleum Retailers Association (BPRA) yesterday to assure them that the government is considering increasing their sales margins on gas and diesel as they requested.
BPRA members have been saying for years that their margins have been too low for too long, and took a vote Tuesday night to strike if government did not immediately raise them.
The BPRA asked the government to increase the sales margins for retailers to $0.74 per gallon for gasoline and $0.47 per gallon for diesel.  Their sales margins now are $0.44 per gallon for gasoline and $0.19 per gallon for diesel.  Gasoline has been set at the same margin for 10 years and diesel for more than 30 years.
Neymour promised the BPRA members that when Cabinet meets today he would bring their case to his colleagues and meet with them again tomorrow, according to BPRA interim president Philip Kemp.
It was long lines at gas stations across New Providence Tuesday night, as consumer fears that retailers would strike and leave them without fuel sparked a mad rush to fill vehicle gas tanks.
Kemp told The Nassau Guardian yesterday that Tuesday night was "indicative" of what could happen if the BPRA is unhappy with the government's response to their calls for the higher sales margins on gas and diesel.
However, he insisted that BPRA members did not know that their strike vote would have had the effect on gas sales that it did Tuesday night.
"We didn't expect it, we didn't anticipate it and we didn't plan for it," Kemp said.  "It actually caught us unprepared."
Kemp explained that while their sales were up, most stations ran out of fuel, which disrupted the fuel supply chain regulated by their wholesalers.
"We made a lot of money last night, but instead of spreading the funds over a 24-hour period we made it in a few hours and ran out of fuel for the next day," he said.
"We didn't benefit.  It will cause some inventory issues for the wholesaler because they would not have planned to move so much gas in such a short time."
Neymour said he had very "frank" discussions with the BPRA about what they hope to receive form the government.
In the meantime consumers of fuel said they have no idea what they will do if the retailers decide to strike.
"The strike is not good for us who need the gas, but it will be good for those who sell it," said taxi driver Vernal Moss.
"Everybody needs a little more (money) and if that's the way they (the retailers) have to get it, then more power to them."
Another taxi driver, Frances Johnson, said the possibility of a strike makes her very nervous.
"Without gas I can't work," she said.
"I'm not sure how this is going to go but I hope it comes to some resolution.  This is a modern world and when the guests come in they need to go places, so I just hope they come to some resolution soon," said Johnson.

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News Article
Govt lacks moral authority to legalize web shops

Dear Editor,

Recently, Prime Minister Perry Christie and members of his government seem to be hinting that they now have the courage to do for themselves what they failed to get Bahamian voters to do for them: Make the wrong decision to legalize web shop gambling. Sadly, their intimated courage to legalize web shop gambling comes after in excess of $1 million of public funds was wasted on an unnecessary referendum that I and countless others urged them not to have. The fact of the matter is that Christie and his government had and still have the legal authority to amend the Lotteries and Gaming Act to allow whomever they wish to engage in the greedy, parasitic practice of gambling. However, having lost the gambling referendum (yes, they lost it), there is an important authority that they now lack: moral authority. It appears that not having the moral authority to legalize web shop gambling does not matter to Christie and his government. However, I find it quite disillusioning that even though, according to the prime minister, he opted to go the route of a non-constitutionally mandated referendum because he wanted to deepen our democracy, he seems to have no difficulty showing us by his actions that he has little regard for democracy when a vote does not go his way. Nevertheless, Scripture calls those of us who are followers of Jesus Christ to pray for Christie and his government, so may the Lord grant us the grace to continue to do so in the midst of our disillusionment about their leadership.

- Pastor Cedric Moss

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News Article
Govt may lift casino ban
Govt may lift casino ban

The government is considering lifting the ban on Bahamians gambling in local casinos, The Nassau Guardian understands...

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News Article
Govt not minded to change Gaming Bill
Govt not minded to change Gaming Bill

Amid claims by Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Bradley Roberts that the government is in discussion about amending the Gaming Bill to allow Bahamians to gamble legally in The Bahamas...

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News Article
Govt to Finish Repairs at Mayaguana Airport

Minister of Transport and Aviation Glenys Hanna-Martin said yesterday she is getting advice on how her ministry can finish repairs at the airport in Mayaguana without interfering with the heads of agreement signed between the I-Group and the government.

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News Article
Govt to acquire Island Palms Resort for hospital expansion

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama - The government will spend $1.9 million in the next two to three weeks to purchase the Island Palms Resort to accommodate the expansion of the Rand Memorial Hospital, Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham said Saturday night.
Ingraham was speaking during the opening of the Free National Movement's (FNM) Marco City constituency office.
At the unveiling of the construction upgrades at Rand Memorial Hospital in January, Ingraham said that when the time was right the government would purchase the Island Palm Resort, demolish the structure and expand into the property.
Minister of Health Dr. Hubert Minnis added yesterday that before anything is done with the new space, a utilization survey would have to be completed.
The survey would allow the government to properly ascertain what the hospital needs presently and futuristically, Minnis told The Nassau Guardian via telephone.
Such needs range from how many beds to have and what types of beds, to the needs of kitchens and bathrooms.
"You don't want to put up a ward of 40 beds and you only utilize two," Minnis said.
He said the hospital will be able to service the population of Grand Bahama for many years to come.
At Saturday night's event, Ingraham focused on what the FNM would do for Grand Bahama if re-elected.
"Papa knows that you have been catching hell for almost 10 years now. The PLP left you catching hell. They didn't meet you catching hell," he said.
Ingraham also told the crowd that the government would "bring focused attention to the expiring provisions of the Hawksbill Creek Agreement to ensure that all of Grand Bahama benefits from the exercise".
"We are not going to negotiate with the Port Authority in public.  We will negotiate with them after the next election," he said.
Norris Bain, the FNM's candidate for Marco City, received the torch from current MP for Marco City and candidate for Fort Charlotte, Zhivargo Laing, Saturday night.
He will be facing the Progressive Liberal Party's (PLP) Gregory Moss and the Democratic National Alliance's (DNA) Tolonus Sands.

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News Article
Govt to choose new NIB chairman
Govt to choose new NIB chairman

The National Insurance Board (NIB) is once again set to get a new chairman.

Rev. James Moultrie, who currently holds the position, was appointed as the chairman of the Public Service Commission in November. He took over for Brian Moree, QC, who held the position for nearly three years...

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News Article
Govt under pressure to target crime 'hot spots'

IN THE face of ever worsening crime statistics, Rev CB Moss is calling upon the government to mobilise all law enforcement assets and implement a "surge" strategy in "hot spot" areas of New Providence.
Rev Moss, executive director of the activist group Bahamas Against Crime, said it is clear the "monster" of criminality is threatening our way of life and it must be brought under control immediately.
He said: "Our failure to take drastic action now will almost surely mean years of great pain and suffering for our people".
Rev Moss said the government should mimic the recent strategy used by the American military in Iraq, known as the surge, in which ...

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News Article
Govt wins road case

The Court of Appeal yesterday overturned a decision handed down last year by Supreme Court Justice Neville Adderley, who ruled in favor of a group of business people fighting the government on its road works project.
The Nassau Guardian a final sum had not yet been determined.

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News Article
Govt, Cable Bahamas in Talks on Copyright Infringement
Govt, Cable Bahamas in Talks on Copyright Infringement

International copyright law infringement issues in The Bahamas are heating up once again, with government now in talks with U.S. and HBO representatives on how Cable Bahamas obtains its premium content.

It's a discussion set to take place this week, the minister responsible for broadcasting said yesterday.

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News Article
Grand Bahama Hit Hard By Storm
Grand Bahama Hit Hard By Storm

Freeport - Hurricane Sandy caused severe flooding on Grand Bahama that resulted in one casualty, and left the airport, several residential subdivisions and settlements, and some roads underwater.

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News Article
Grand Bahama PLP hopefuls unveiled

By DENISE MAYCOCK

Tribune Freeport Reporter

dmaycock@tribunemedia.net

FREEPORT - The Progressive Liberal Party officially introduced its five candidates to Grand Bahama on Friday at the Grand Lucaya Resort, where PLP leader Perry Christie unveiled plans to revitalise Grand Bahama's economy.

Mr Christie stressed that Grand Bahama has been neglected and left to suffer for four and half years by the FNM government.

He and the five candidates, including Julian Russell, the candidate for Central Grand Bahama, Gregory Moss, Marco City; Tanisha Tynes, East Grand Bahama; Senator Dr Michael Darville, Pineridge; and Obie Wilchcombe, West Grand Bahama, introduced plans for "Project Grand B ...

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News Article
Grand Bahama soccer star, Courtney Moss obtains full soccer scholarship to Lincoln University, Pennsylvania

Freeport,Bahamas - High School graduate of Sunland Baptist Academy in Grand Bahama Island has just signed to a full athletic scholarship at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania where she will be taking Business Management with a minor in Japanese.

"We are excited to be signing Courtney.  She is a tremendous athlete and will make an immediate impact on the team. Her versatility on the field is a valuable asset and we are looking forward to utilizing her skills," said Fabio Boateng, Head Women's Soccer Coach at Lincoln University.

Courtney started playing soccer at the age of eleven in school and on Saturdays with the Grand Bahama Girls' Soccer Development League under the direction...

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News Article
Grand Cay Independence Flag Raising

National Independence Commission member, Canon Sebastian Campbell, passes the flag to the colour party Constable 3144 Knowles and Petty Officer Moss, upon arrival at Walker's Cay, Abaco, en route to Grand Cay...

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News Article
Grand opening fornational stadium

A cadre of volunteers has been selected by Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Charles Maynard to ensure that there is a smooth transition and sitting process for the grand opening of the newly built Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.
Now that an open invitation was extended to all Bahamians, by Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, to attend the grand celebrations planned for today, Maynard said expert advice has been sought and persons have been specially trained for the event. These volunteers will know how to move people and control crowds. He also noted that a certain color will be given to those persons entering the stadium, indicating which section they will be seated in.
As far as the traffic flow, Maynard said: "As promised by the contractors, all of the road ways appear to be open for access to and from the stadium. That includes, of course, corridor nine that connects into New Providence Highway; Yellow Elder Way, which connects into Tonique Williams-Darling highway and corridor eight that connects into Thompson Blvd via Moss Road and Baillou Hill Road, next to National Insurance. And there is a new corridor, the eight/nine connector that will carry from corridor eight to the roundabout and into the stadium.
"All of the parking lots are not finished, but we have a significant amount of parking just south of the stadium; those can be accessed through the eight/nine connector. We expect people to also take advantage of parking in and around the Baillou Hill Sporting Complex, where we will have bus transportation to ferry people back and forth from those areas. We expect people to take advantage of parking at the College of The Bahamas, both at the main campus and at the tourism training center. Bus transportation will be available there as well. The Clarence A. Bain building as well as the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and Ministry of Education building will also have parking available and bus ferrying back and forth. And along Thompson Blvd."
The national stadium is a gift to The Bahamas from the People's Republic of China. The state-of-the-art facility seats 15,000. Some $600,000 has been spent on the celebrations.
Persons attending the festivities are asked to arrive early. The gates open at 3 p.m. Everyone is asked to be seated by 6 p.m. Food courts are available around the stadium.

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News Article
Granville Alexander Moss, 65

Granville Alexander Moss, 65, of Sandilands Village Road died at his residence on Saturday August 13, 2011.
He is survived by Three Sons: Granville Jr., Garrett Anton Moss and Christ Fox; Three Daughters: Tanya Tomlyn, Tracey Gardiner and Tishka Moss; Brother: Theophilus Moss; Sisters: Barbar Morley, Sylvia Rolle and Veronica Strachan; Grandchildren: Deon Tomlyn Jr., Blair Tomlyn, Caltranique, Caryl and Carl Gardiner Jr., Jarria and Jarret Moss Jr., and Sade Moss; other relatives and friends including: Deon Tomlyn Sr., Carl Gardiner and Valarie Moss.

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News Article
Grapes are propagated from hardwood cuttings

Q. A family friend gave me some cuttings of a grape vine. She doesn’t know what kind of grapes they will produce. I would like to know if I can get new plants from these cuttings?
E.G., Eastern Road

A. Yes. Grapes are often propagated from hardwood cuttings or they may be grafted. To start your cuttings simply dip the bottom end of the cutting in a rooting hormone powder or liquid and bury it in a rooting mixture comprised of equal parts of peat moss, sand and water it well.

Q. On one of our mango trees it is losing lots of small green mangoes about the size of a small grape. Can you tell me why they are falling off?
A.W., Sans Souci

A. Mangoes usually set more fruit than they can hold to ...

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News Article
Greenslade: No reclassification of actual murders
Greenslade: No reclassification of actual murders

Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade said yesterday he will not allow the police force to reclassify any murder that occurs in The Bahamas.

He said when police reclassify an incident originally believed to be a murder, it is done because sufficient evidence later uncovered indicates a murder did not occur...

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News Article
Greg Moss blasts govt

Marco City MP Gregory Moss yesterday chastised members of Parliament, including his colleagues on the governing side, for debating "nonsense" in the House of Assembly instead of tackling the pressing issues of crime, taxation and gaming.
Moss also hit out at the government for not yet bringing the proposed legislation for value-added tax (VAT) for debate.
He said the draft bill is flawed and he will vote against it in the House.
He called on the government to deal with illegal immigration and to introduce an income tax law that would offset the tax burden on the poor.
Moss said the country is in a "crime crisis" and highlighted the 120 murders that were recorded in 2013 and the spate of violent crimes that have happened since the start of the new year.

"What we have going on in this country now is rampant tit for tat," he said.

"I shoot you, you shoot me back. I'm going to court, you're the witness and I'm going to knock you off. We know it's happening and why are we not outraged by it?"
Moss spoke during debate on The Bahamas Spatial Data Infrastructure Bill.
The legislation would improve the coordination and use of spatial technologies and data. It would also regulate the distribution of geospatial data for national and international stakeholders.
Moss suggested the proposed legislation was trivial in light of important national issues.
He also challenged the government to enforce the death penalty law instead of using excuses such as opposition from the London-based Privy Council, the highest court of appeal, for why it cannot be carried out.
"We legislate, we define the definitions; if we do not like the way in which our laws are being interpreted we can redefine those definitions and the courts comport to the definitions we define," he said.
Moss said he was tired of "playing politics" and said he was speaking frankly as a Bahamian.
He added: "At the end of the day this polite approach that we are taking to law enforcement where we are blaming the police, blaming the courts and failing to blame ourselves for [not] passing the proper laws and putting in place prescriptions that need to be put in place to avoid all of these delays, all of these excuses, and to deal definitively with crime, stops here."
Several times during his contribution, Moss argued with a few seated members of his own party who disagreed with some of his statements.
His statements drew support from opposition MPs. However, Moss quickly rebuked them and accused the Ingraham administration of doing little while crime escalated from 2007 to 2012.
Moss also challenged the government to quickly bring VAT legislation to the House and other laws for tax reform. VAT is expected to take effect on July 1.
"Bring the VAT debate to this House and let's talk about that," he said.
"I made it very clear that I'm going to vote against it. I'm not going to absent myself from the House. I'm going to stand here and vote against it because it's a bad law in the way it's presently framed."
He also urged the government to debate the Gaming Bill, which was tabled in October.
The bill faced criticism for the provisions which discriminate against Bahamians and allow the status quo on gambling to remain.
Moss has previously said he will not support any legislation that discriminates against Bahamians.
Prime Minister Perry Christie was absent from the floor of the House of Assembly when Moss gave his speech.
When asked by The Nassau Guardian to respond to the critique, he said Moss had the right to speak his mind.
He stressed that crime was top on the government's agenda, but said the bill that was debated yesterday morning was important to nation building.
"I'm one of those who encourage members of Parliament to speak and to speak strongly," Christie said.
"If I disagree with what they say you can trust on the occasion of the debate I will tell them so they can hear me say it."
He also suggested that he was not too concerned with Moss' plan to vote against the VAT bill.
"Whatever he decides to do, I am sure because he is a highly intelligent man, that he would have thought about it very carefully," Moss said.
"So if he decides to do that then we wait until it happens and see what happens after that."

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News Article
Greg Moss stands to lose nothing by opposing his party

Dear Editor,
Prime Minister Perry Christie may very well be annoyed that the stiffest challenge to his proposed gaming and VAT bills is coming from several Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) members of Parliament, including a Cabinet member, rather than from the official opposition Free National Movement.
Fort Charlotte MP Dr. Andre Rollins, along with Exuma and Ragged Island MP Anthony Moss, MICAL MP V. Alfred Gray, Bamboo Town MP Renward Wells and Mount Moriah MP Arnold Forbes have all voiced their opposition to the Gaming Bill. The basis of their opposition is that the bill discriminates against Bahamians while it will allow foreigners to engage in online gaming. As for VAT, Rollins and Marco City MP Gregory Moss have both voiced concerns on the proposed new tax regime, which is slated to be implemented in July 2014.
Rollins is of the view that the plan to introduce VAT at a rate of 15 percent is too high for the Bahamian people, who are already finding it hard to make ends meet in an economy that continues to reel from the effects of the Great Recession. He wants it to be introduced at a lower rate. Both he and Moss have dubbed VAT as regressive. The Marco City MP told The Nassau Guardian that he cannot support VAT because it is a draconian and inequitable form of taxation. Christie has already hinted that Rollins might face repercussions for his apparent opposition to the Gaming Bill. Seeing that he is the chairman of the Gaming Board, he could very well be asked to resign from that chairmanship post if he opposes this bill in the House of Assembly.
And if he refuses to resign, he will undoubtedly be fired. As for Wells, Anthony Moss, Forbes and Gray, it remains to be seen how Christie will deal with them if they all oppose his gaming legislation. For what it's worth, Gray poses a bigger challenge for Christie due to his seniority and his outspokenness. Gray is minister of agriculture, marine resources and local government. Clearly he is an opposing and invincible figure in the Christie government. I am of the view that Christie lacks the courage to punish him if he dissents on the Gaming Bill. As for Wells, Moss and Forbes, it is a bit of a misnomer to say that the three parliamentarians are backbenchers, with all due respect to the writer of a recent Nassau Guardian editorial.
Wells is parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Works; Forbes is chairman of the Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation, and Moss is parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture. If Christie chastises Rollins, then fairness calls for him to also chastise the other dissenters in his government.
The foregoing stands to lose much in terms of financial perks and other enviable benefits in the event they are asked to resign from their respective posts. As it stands right now, it appears that they are willing to stand behind their convictions. As for Gregory Moss, there is really nothing else that Christie can do to him in the event that he votes against VAT.
You see, Moss was fired by the prime minister as chairman of the National Insurance Board in January. Of the 30 PLP members of Parliament, Moss is the only one without an additional responsibility. He is the lone backbencher in the PLP parliamentary caucas.
When one considers the fact that it is highly unlikely that Moss will be renominated by the PLP to run in 2017, he really has nothing to lose by opposing Christie. What more can the prime minister do to him? Christie stated that Rollins has put himself in a difficult position by speaking out against the Gaming Bill. I think Christie's position is much more difficult than Rollins' because of the sheer number of dissenters in his party.
- Kevin Evans

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