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News Article

September 03, 2014
Signing onto SIDS DOCK should reap huge renewable energy benefits for The Bahamas

APIA, Samoa --- The Bahamas' signing onto SIDS DOCK here at the United Nation's Third International Small Island Developing States Conference was "monumental" as it will not only allow the country make the transformation from fossil fuel-based energy generation to renewable energy, but also provide access to funding that would allow for the investment in, and deployment of, renewable energy technologies throughout the Commonwealth - particularly photovoltaic systems and solar water heaters.
The latter is "extremely, extremely" important for archipelagic island-nations such as The Bahamas, which has to provide energy over a large swath. Making the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy will also have the long-term benefit of reducing not only the effects of Climate Change in The Bahamas, but also the cost of energy, while also reducing the country's Carbon Footprint.
SIDS DOCK, in a nutshell, is a Treaty designed to help finance the transformation of the energy sectors of small island developing states in order to achieve a 25 per cent increase in energy efficiency; generation of a minimum of 50 per cent of electric power from renewable energy resources; and a 25 per cent decrease in conventional transportation fuel use in order to significantly increase financial resources to enable Climate Change adaptation.
Minister of the Environment and Housing, the Hon. Kenred Dorsette, said data indicates that persons who have switched to solar water heaters, for example, have registered savings in their energy bills of between 15-30 per cent.
"Bahamians do not realize how much electricity is used to create hot water in their homes and the installation of solar water heaters can provide them with cost savings (as) data indicates that persons who have switched to solar water heaters have registered savings in their energy bills from between 15-30 per cent and so we will be utilizing funds (derived from being a Signatory to the SIDS DOCK) to focus on the deployment of renewable energy technologies - particularly solar - throughout The Bahamas."

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News Article

September 10, 2014
BNT staff pursuing further academic goals

Education never stops, and, as such, five Bahamas National Trust (BNT) staff members -- Alannah Vellacott, Shelley Cant, Lindy Knowles, Mark Daniels and Krista Sherman -- have left to pursue environmental studies degrees.
Well-known BNT staff member Shelley Cant, who worked in the education department and who also managed the website for the trust, is at the University of Exeter's Cornwall Campus in the United Kingdom, where she will be working towards a master's degree in environmental studies.
Cant was also the lead officer in the BNT's Rare Pride Campaign for wetlands and the Shark Campaign, which resulted in The Bahamas receiving status as a shark sanctuary, the first in the Caribbean.
Vellacott, who also worked tirelessly in the education department, returned to South Dakota State University to pursue a Bachelor of Science in environmental science.
Daniels, the Leon Levy National Park Preserve manager since it opened in 2011, is pursuing a master's degree in botany at Miami University in Ohio.
Knowles, who joined the BNT as a science officer in 2009, became a skilled diver and participated in a number of rapid ecological assessments for new national parks as well as leading several mangrove restoration projects. Knowles is pursuing a master's degree in environmental science at the University of the West Indies in Barbados.
Sherman, who came to the BNT as a project manager of a Global Environment Facility (GEF) Marine Protected Areas project, successfully coordinated and completed monitoring protocols for the Exuma land and sea park and a sustainable tourism model for the Exuma cays. Sherman is pursuing a doctorate degree at Exeter University focusing on the Nassau grouper spawning aggregation and population abundance. The trust hopes Sherman's studies will be a helpful key to advancing conservation efforts to establish best management practices for the grouper and sustaining the species.
"We will miss both Shelley and Alannah," said Portia Sweeting, BNT's director of education. "They have contributed in major ways to the BNT's strong environmental education programs, and we know that they will do well in the pursuit of their educational goals."
BNT Deputy Executive Director Lynn Gape said the young environmental officers displayed amazing dedication to the goals and mission of the BNT. She said it had been a joy to watch them develop their skills and interests over the years.
"It is amazing to watch these aspiring young Bahamian scientists progress through initial curious interest, then engaging with local and international scientists and now finally aspiring to further their environmental careers to help address some of the important environmental challenges that face our country," said Vanessa Haley-Benjamin, BNT's director of science and policy.
"We encourage our staff to improve themselves and to pursue higher educational degrees," said Eric Carey, BNT executive director. "This is all part of nation building, whether they return to work for the BNT or pursue other opportunities in the environment arena, they will continue to be friends and supporters of the trust. We wish them all the best and our only regret is that we have not been able to provide more financial support for their educational goals," he said.

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News Article

June 02, 2011
Gloria Glenda Sears nee Finley, 69

Funeral services for Gloria Glenda Sears nee Finley, 69 yrs., a resident of Millers Height, Carmichael Road, who passed away on 20th May, 2011, will be held at St. Gregory's Anglican Church, Carmichael Road on Saturday at 9 a.m. Officiating will be Rev. Fr. S. Sebastian Campbell & Rev. Fr. Atma Budhu.  Interment follows in Woodlawn Gardens, Soldier Road.
Her memories will forever be cherished by her loving, devoted husband: Campbell Sears, dedicated daughter: Registered Nurse: Leonie Sears; loyal sons: Kevin, Andrew, Lemuel, David & Lawrence Sears; grandchldren: Alexio, Antoine, Akeem & Iessa Mullings, Lakeisha, Lashell, andreco, Andrewnique & Deandra Sears; daughters-in-law: Registered Nurse: Stacey Pratt-Sears, Rochelle Bethel-Sears; sisters-in-law: faithful caregiver: Alice Lowe, Cynthia Finley, Bernice Collins & Angela Sears; brothers-in-law: Reuben Sears & Charles Collins; nieces: Shelly, Psychita, Bruceta, Machell, Megan & Trained Clinical Nurse Lyndianna Rahming, Deidre Finley, Martha Maria Dukes, Shenique & Olivia Ingraham, Bridgette Morrison & Ava Lowe; nephews: Kirk, Duke, Derek Jr., Quincey Finley, Demetrius, Samuel Lowe, Devardo Hunt, Andy, Chris, Steve, Brian Collins, Desirio Ingraham & Churchill Sears; a host of other relatives & friends including: Arginal (Argie), Patrick, Karen, & Trained Clinical Nurse Patricia Sands, Sheena Newton, Vashti & Rena Roberts, Alvina Taylor, Keith, Lambert, Butler, Donna, Psyche, Renee, Michael, Trevor, Toney Edwards, Tina, Lisa, Keva, Kevin Gibbs, Catechist Alice Gray, Dillis Ingraham, Trained Clinical Nurse Santina Smith, Margaret, Shavaughn Thurston, Sherilyn McCartney, Dr. Valarie Carpenter, Margaret Russell, Edna McMillian, Estermae Mitchell of Deerfield Beach, Fl., Bert & George McKinney, Toney, Helen, Shelley & Brad Capron, Emmie, Ivy & Neva Sweeting, Vincent, Maxwell, Cyril Collins, Christine, Nathalie, Nathaniel Knowles, Esther McPhee, Revs. Alfred, Timothy, Andrew, Susan & Laverne Stewart, Miriam, Oswald Finley, Leonie Duncanson, Judy, Verdell, Marsha, Locksley Jr., Leroy, Richard & Anthony Fawles, Sally, Susan, Roselyn, Deborah, Joycelyn, Matthew Curry, Elaine Wilson, Alice Adams, Myrtle Sweeting, Sherry, Kenneth Kemp, Alice Innis, Mizpah Davis, Edith Scott, Velma, Clay, Sean Johnson, Kara Tinker, Andrew (Dudd), Min. Charles Maynard, Beverly Collins, Lerlean, Tejada, Alice, Kermit, Lorenzo Minus, Melverna Wong, Theresa (Fanny), Angie Rolle-Thompson, Ruby Anne Burrows, Shawnette Roye, Isaac, Harvey Mullings, the entire Mullings family, Adena, Derek, Louise, Alphonso, Dr. Eugene Newry, Ethlyn Armstrong, Yvonne Sands & family, Mr. Ulyses & Rev. Dianna Culmer, Clover Pratt & family, Carla & Daniel Hall & family, Tracy & Don Arnett & family, Anita Bodie, Kenny Mackey, Preston Ferguson, W/Insp. Annette Mackey, Olive Thomas, Charlene, Arthur & Vellora Sweeting & family, Icelyn Campbell of Jamaica, Deanne Hepburn, Eleanor, Florina Rolle, Donna Daxon, Antoinette Neely, Rose Hart, Orpheus Ingraham, Mrs. Lynn Lewis of Family Guardian, Henry Farrington, Merell Thompson, Howard Charlow & family, Evangelists: Maria Lynes, Petrona Ferguson, Berthalee Curry, Nathaniel Bastian & family, Neville, Allan & Bernard Thompson & family, Nurses: Sylvia Santina Smith, Eleanor, Stephanie Poitier, Stephanie Johnson, Darnell Roker, Inza Young, Patishamae Miller, Leonie Buchannan, Gloria Dorsette, Margo Curry, Melody Taylor, Gloria Jacques,Yvonne Adderley, Mary Knowles, Virginia Brennen, Sister Caffeine Brice, Laine Johnson, Paula Hamilton, Yvonne Johnson, Dorothy Ferguson, Geraldine Rolle, Natasha Cooper, Patrice Mitchell, Sandra Rolle, Annastacia Valcin, Sister Ampersam Symonette, Dr. Freddie Smith, Renal Team Dialysis Unit, the Children's Ward, Sister Hilda Douglas, Ernestine Douglas, Adrian & Dionisio D'Aguilar, Dora Rahming & the entire staff of Superwash, Sister Portia Ferguson, Sister Rebecca Johnson, Cunningham, Henry, Black, Lewis, Harris, Ramsey, Rolle, Sister Sherlene Sears, Lockhart, Woodside, Newbold, Bowe, Female Medical Ward #2, Public Hospital Authority, D'Albenas Agency, Ministry of Health, Premier Importers, Cable Bahamas, Bethel-Robertson, Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, Dr. Norad & Michelle Morgan, Sheral Curry, Bannerman, Wemyss Bight communities, Kelsey Williams, Veronica Sweeting, Sherry Gibson, Emerita Bethel, the entire MInnie Street & Millars Height communities: (Patrick Maycock, Bastian, Newry, Thompson, Cox,Ferguson, McCollough, Penn, McIntosh, Wilson, Freckleton, Dottin, Culmer, Sands, Johnson, Rolle, Flowers, Ramsey, Burrows, Dorsette, Longley & Sweeting), Rev. Nathalie Bastian, Rev. Marie Roach, Rev. Angela Palacious, Canon Harry Ward, Fr. Kabiga - Holy Trinity, Fr. Kingsley Knowles - St. Greorges, Rev. Fr. Atma & Lavinia Budhu - Epiphany Anglican Church, Rev. Fr. Sebastian Campbell - St. Gregory's Anglican Church, Bishop Moses Johnson, Church of God Cathedral family, Gerald Cash Primary School, Anatol Rodgers High School, Interactive School of Learning, Phillip & Mary, John Chea #4, Flamingo Gardens Clinic & many others too numerous to mention.
Friends may pay their last respects at Demeritte's Funeral Home, Market Street, from 3-6 p.m. on Friday and on Saturday at the church from 8 a.m. until service time.

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News Article

September 12, 2014
Be like a palm tree

If you live in the tropics like I do, you have most certainly experienced your fair share of tropical storms and hurricanes from time to time, especially when you live in what is referred to as the hurricane belt, which is where I reside. Now as Joel Osteen highlighted in another very inspiring talk he gave on television recently, in tropical areas like The Bahamas where I reside, there are lots of palm trees, especially in the coastal areas, along the beaches.
Now when hurricane force winds of 100 miles per hour and upward roar in from the sea and blow against the palm trees, they so often bend right over and may actually appear to be broken. However, just as soon as the high winds have subsided and the weather starts to finally return to normal, the palm trees stand right up again, they bounce right back to where they were.
Now this is a great analogy for life itself for nothing is more certain than the fact, that from time to time things will get real rough as the winds of change roar through every aspect of our life, both personal and professional. However, although the stormy times in our life may cause us to bend a little, we simply must learn to bounce right back after storms of any kind interfere with our life and plans for the future.
Yes indeed, we all need to learn an invaluable lesson from the palm tree, and that lesson is this in a nutshell. When rough, tough, stormy times begin to affect our life, we need to be flexible just like the palm tree and thus bend a little or maybe even a lot as the pressure on us increases. However, once the pressure on us eases, we must of necessity bounce right back, stand upright, and continue our journey on the road to success.
You see, during a tropical storm or hurricane, the power of the strong winds actually breaks so many other trees which are usually strewn all over the place once the storm has passed, but not the palm trees because they are very pliable, they are able to bend without breaking. You, my friend, must learn to do exactly the same thing, that is to bend a little from time to time and therefore not be too rigid.
In this way you will survive the storms of life that indeed do come our way from time to time as we progress through the seasons of life. Yes indeed, you've got to learn to stand up again after a troubling time in your life. You must be able to bounce back from disasters and go on to greatness. In short, bend, don't break.
o Think about it!
Visit my website at:
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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News Article

March 23, 2013
Stephen 'Dirty' Newbold released from jail

According to reports online, the country's top junior quartermiler has been released from county jail in Tallahassee, Florida, after spending the night behind bars, and will be allowed to return to The Bahamas to compete in next weekend's CARIFTA Games. The only question remains, will the Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) allow him to do so after being arrested early Thursday morning for discharging a firearm in public and resisting arrest without violence?
Stephen 'Dirty' Newbold, 18, appeared in court yesterday morning, and was released after posting a $1,000 bond - $500 for each count. He has a case management hearing for Tuesday, April 30, at 8:30 a.m., but before then, is scheduled to return home to represent The Bahamas for a fourth straight year at the CARIFTA Games. The 42nd Annual CARIFTA Games is set for March 29 to April 1, at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium.
Up until press time, BAAA President Mike Sands was still not returning calls, but first Vice President Iram Lewis said that they are receiving legal counsel into the matter. He said that is about all he could mention at this particular time.
As for Newbold, the Florida judge ordered him to turn over any firearms in his possession after his release, but Newbold has since denied ever carrying a concealed weapon. He tweeted: 'Bad Mouth me if you want! Nobody got shot at, There was no gun. I'm no criminal, but I got a couple of misdemeanors.'
Before that, he tweeted: 'They can't keep a good man down! Lol people making it seem like life is over, I'm out, I'm gucci, back to work.'
According to reports, Newbold and fellow athlete Joshua Mance were arrested around 3:30 a.m. in the morning after shots were heard in the vicinity of a local apartment complex pool. An eyewitness identified Newbold as the shooter, and additionally, it was reported that shell casings were found in the area of the pool. Both athletes have since been suspended from the Florida State University (FSU) track team, but according to FSU Director of Athletics Randy Spetman, both Newbold and Mance could rejoin the team pending an investigation into the university's discipline policy and legal proceedings.
Mance, who has hired a private attorney, was a member of the silver medal winning 4x400m relay team that was beaten by The Bahamas at last year's Olympic Games. Mance had just turned 21 on Thursday, and was in possession of Newbold's identification card, which had an altered date of birth. Mance was charged with being in possession of a forged identification card and resisting arrest without violence.
World Youth Champion over 200 meters (m) Newbold was regarded as one of The Bahamas' best hopes for a medal going into the CARIFTA Games. He was expected to represent The Bahamas in the under-20 boys' 400m, and maybe the 200m as well. He has personal best times of 46.97 and 20.89 seconds in those events, respectively.
Newbold is a five-time CARIFTA Games medalist. He is the CARIFTA record holder in the under-17 boys' 400m hurdles as well (52.75 seconds). Newbold also won double gold at the 2010 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Junior Track and Field Championships in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In college, the FSU sophomore is a two-time Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Indoor Champion.
The crowning glory moment of Newbold's junior career might have come at the 2011 World Youth Championships in Lille, France, when he won the gold medal in the boys' 200m in a personal best time of 20.89 seconds, helping The Bahamas to secure its best finish ever at a global athletics meet.

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News Article

September 23, 2014
Sow the seeds

My grandfather -- that is my father's father had a very large farm in a place called Kells, Co. Meath in Ireland where I grew up. Although my family lived in the suburbs of Dublin the capital city, I just loved to visit my grandfather on the farm in Kells and invariably spent a good part of my summer vacation on the farm. There was something that I just loved about the open spaces, the peace and tranquility as opposed to the constant traffic and noise of the big city. I also loved being close to nature and dealing with all of the animals each day. It was pure bliss to me.
Now during the summer it was harvest time when the corn, the oats, the barley and the hay would be cut, bundled up and then brought into the barns to help feed the cattle and the horses in the winter time. Of course, although I was not there in the springtime, I know that the seeds for all of the crops had been planted in the earth. So I learnt at an early age, that to get the crops that were harvested in the summer, seeds had to be planted in the spring, and then nurtured. It was not until I was quite a bit older, and hopefully wiser, that I started to fully understand, that the whole creative process commences with planting seeds.
So in a nutshell, the very future of your life and affairs depends on the seed thoughts that you sow in the fertile garden of your mind. If you wish to be successful in the future, you must sow the seeds of success, and then nourish them and watch them grow into the success you seek. This is surely how the whole creative process works? Yes it is!
Yes my friend, in order to be able to reap a good harvest of success in the future, you must sow the seeds now! In other words, you set specific goals in your mind, and you constantly fertilize these seed thoughts with plenty of positive, uplifting affirmations. As I stated in the last article, you develop faith -- real, true faith thus knowing in an extremely positive way, that your goals will materialize in due course, your dreams will come true providing a rich harvest of success in your life.
So please my friend, sow the seeds of what you want right now, and continually feed and nourish them with a whole lot of really positive thoughts, and believe me, you will reap a very rich harvest! Yes you most definitely will!

o Think about it!
Visit my website at:
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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News Article

October 03, 2014
BAIC secures major sale of Bahamian handicraft products to Germany

The Bahamas Agricultural and Industrial Corporation (BAIC), in aggressively keeping the government's mandate, which in part is geared toward a rejuvenation of the straw, shell, sponge, paper and coconut handicraft industries, made history with the visit of El Puente GMBH delegates Angela Lepa and Gesa Pertersen to The Bahamas in January of this year. Through this visit, El Puente and the BAIC in conjunction with the Bahamas National Craft Association (BNCA), will introduce Bahamian-made products to the German art and craft markets totaling some $60,000 in sales. This pilot initiative is expected to be the catalyst for future Bahamian-made handicraft and straw products to be introduced to German and other foreign markets. This sale will not only boost foreign exchange through revenue earnings, but also create opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs and handicraft artisans.
El Puente is a fair-trade wholesale organization located in Germany that sells authentic traditional products to fair trade shops in Germany and Europe. El Puente is among the pioneers of the fair trade movement and today is the second largest fair trade organization in Germany. ?Since 1972, El Puente has stood as the bridge between north and south and has worked with small businesses and cooperatives in Africa, Asia and Latin America and now The Bahamas.
"BAIC takes its mandate to expand the handicraft sector of this country seriously. Given the value of this sector to the overall economy of The Bahamas, I am committed to extracting more value from it for Bahamian artisans and craft persons. To this end, we are proud to announce the export of approximately $60,000 worth of local handicraft items to Germany," said BAIC Executive Chairman Arnold A. Forbes. "I believe that this transaction is a first of its kind, which heralds new opportunities for Bahamians to begin taking advantage of business around the world. With expanding markets for Bahamian crafts come expanding possibilities, and now we are finally able to see what we believe are the makings of exponential growth and development of the handicraft sector".
BAIC through its Handicraft Development department is committed to helping to expand and introduce Bahamian artisans to local and foreign markets. Prime Minister Perry Christie noted, "It is important to the development of our national identity, and to the deepening of our Bahamian culture that we ensure the highest level of government support to our artists and artisans."
Products exported during this sale include traditional straw bags, sponge, paper, shell craft jewelry and coconut shell craft jewelry.

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News Article

October 01, 2014
Miller says BEC has paid 55 mil. due on fuel bill

The Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) was able to pay off a $55 million fuel debt that threatened to leave the country without electricity, BEC Executive Chairman Leslie Miller said yesterday.
"We are in good shape," said Miller, when called for comment.
He had previously issued a warning that the corporation needed to pay the debt off by the end of September or face a country-wide blackout.
Minister of Works Philip Brave Davis, who has ministerial responsibility for BEC, had said the government would, if need be, subsidize the bill.
But Miller said it never came to that.
"We didn't get one penny from the government," he said.
"We got it from our customers. I want to thank them for coming in, including all the hotels.
"I don't even want to go into the hotels. The hotels worked with us. I want to thank all of them for stepping to the plate.
"They worked with us and we have a good relationship with them. Now everybody understands that the left hand has to help the right hand and we have a commitment from them to live up to their commitments.
"They have been living up to that, and I am very grateful to them."
Miller had threatened to disconnect "three hotels out west", which collectively owed BEC $30 million.
He later said the hotels made payment arrangements with the corporation.
Davis said he would expect to be consulted before BEC acts on a threat to disconnect service to the major hotels.
Miller said, while he knew his threats were "a little nuts", they were necessary.
He pointed out that BEC's fuel comes from Shell West out of London by way of Barbados.
"We don't buy fuel from FOCOL," he noted. "FOCOL simply ships our fuel to all our [28] Family Island operations."
Miller had said BEC's total fuel bill was $100 million.
He said yesterday that BEC will always struggle with the debt.
"It's always going to happen," he said.
"There is nothing you can do about that. When you have accounts receivable over $185 million, you are in trouble."

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News Article

October 08, 2014
Coalition for Responsible Taxation: Strengthen whistle-blower protection

The co-chair of the Coalition for Responsible Taxation (CRT) has stressed the need for increased government accountability and legislation protecting whistleblowers following a recent headline-grabbing forensic audit into the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA).
CRT Co-chair Gowon Bowe told Guardian Business that while he could not comment on the findings of the audit directly, he believes that the initial reports illustrate the greater need for freedom of information in the country, arguing that it would help identify similar "leakages" in the government infrastructure.
"The matters that are now being identified really show where there is potential leakage and damage being incurred by the government because of either corrupt practices or a failure to ensure compliance with policies and procedures.
"Equally, we need to have legislation that is going to protect persons who are willing to come forward and blow the whistle on either bad behavior or outright acts of fraud and corruption," stated Bowe.
The Nassau Guardian reported on Monday that a forensic audit into the PHA's supply of pharmaceutical drugs and medical supplies reveals a $10 million difference in pharmaceutical inventory between Princess Margaret Hospital's (PMH) physical count and what was reflected in PMH's computer system.
Bowe added that the recent audit highlights the need for the government to address other qualitative issues facing the country, rather than focus solely on value-added tax (VAT) and tax administration.
"If we are trying to get our fiscal house in order, the main thing we have to be ensuring is that we're closing up loopholes where money is escaping from the system without being deployed for social benefit of others.
"If we put it quite candidly, we have a very significant [expense] on National Health Insurance already. The question now is are those funds being used effectively?" asked Bowe.
The audit also raises concerns over the formation of a shell company "quickly established for the purpose of transacting" with the Bahamas National Drug Agency (BNDA), which is administered by the PHA.
The forensic audit covers both the Ingraham and Christie administrations, from July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2013. PHA Chairman Frank Smith issued a statement earlier this week that the current PHA board had commissioned the recent audits and is currently reviewing them.
"Anything that leaves itself open to corruption or bad behavior now needs to be curtailed. That goes straight to our freedom of information initiative that we've been pushing. There needs to be legislation that allows information to be disseminated so that the public can evaluate the operating and financial efficiencies of a lot of the government agencies," said Bowe.

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News Article

October 26, 2014
Out of the dark

Our reporting on the various audits into the affairs of the Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) appears to have sped up the PHA board's consideration of those findings.
Many who have followed this story fear that those audits may, in the end, amount to a waste of public funds if they do not lead to any action or improvements in procurement and other procedures.
But some are hopeful that real action will be taken to address the concerns raised by various auditors.
While the initial reaction by some was to attack the messenger -- John Bain of UHY Bain and Associates -- several other audits have also sounded the alarm on the PHA.
Bain's forensic audit into the PHA's pharmaceutical and medical supplies was completed seven months ago.
Yet the PHA board, headed by Frank Smith, has only now formally accepted it.
According to an inside PHA source, this now clears the way for the board to carefully consider the findings of that report and the other audits completed by several firms.
In a recent letter to the editor, Nathaniel N. McKenzie -- a former lead forensic auditor for Medicaid fraud in the United States, an $85 billion subsidy to the state of Florida's health plan -- explained that, in a forensic audit, a conclusion is reached when there is an abundance of evidence and every rock gets turned over.
McKenzie explained that a financial audit, or a financial statement audit, on the other hand, is a process that provides the business owner with assurance that the business's financial statements fairly represent the business's financial position, during the time period being investigated.
The auditor who conducts a financial audit looks over the financial statements for any signs of financial statement fraud.
But the forensic audit, like the one Bain completed, is a thorough investigation into the business' system of internal controls in order to determine whether anyone within the company has misused the entity's funds for personal gain.
This type of audit is used when asset-theft fraud is suspected, according to McKenzie. Forensic audits should only be performed by certified public accountants who are also certified fraud examiners, he noted.
Bain is a paid professional whose qualifications are not in dispute.
As opposed to seeking to denigrate his work and questioning his integrity, those who insist there is nothing to be concerned about as it relates to the PHA's tendering for contracts and accountability of public funds should provide a believable defense so we can all be comforted.
Bain is one of few Bahamians with certifications in both the United States and United Kingdom.
He has carried out forensic work in The Bahamas and the Caribbean.
He received the 2007 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the global professional accounting body offering the Chartered Certified Accountant qualification.
So, again, his qualifications are not in dispute -- neither are the professionalism and qualifications of the other professionals who carried out several audits on the PHA.
A separate audit was conducted by HLB Galanis Bain into the PHA's human resources. Another was completed by Grant Thornton into the PHA's receivables, and the fourth into the PHA's information technology was completed by Providence Technologies.

Multiple concerns
Much of the furor surrounding our reporting on the PHA has centered around Bain's conclusion that there was a $10 million difference in pharmaceutical inventory between the physical count and what is reflected in the Princess Margaret Hospital's (PMH) computer system.
It was the same conclusion reached by the hospital's internal auditor.
Are we to believe that multiple auditors got it wrong in their conclusions?
According to The Tribune, PHA Finance Director Daniel Knowles said he found it "difficult to believe" that internal auditors, who originally raised the alarm on the unaccounted for inventory, did not recognize clerical errors, given that the authority's total yearly inventory had never exceeded $4 million.
According to The Tribune, Knowles addressed a letter to PHA Managing Director Herbert Brown on the matter after The Nassau Guardian's initial reporting on the Bain report.
If this is indeed the first explanation regarding the $10 million difference in pharmaceutical inventory then it is quite unfortunate that it has taken so long for Brown or the board to receive such an explanation.
We are left to wonder where this process would have been had the report not been leaked to the media.
The Tribune also reported that management at the Public Hospitals Authority claimed that the forensic audit conducted on pharmaceutical drugs and medical supplies did not follow best practices or industry standards and exposed the agency to civil litigations.
If the board of the PHA is serious about following through on ensuring that the authority is adhering to high standards with clearly defined procedures regarding the expenditure of public funds, then it ought not let another seven months pass before seriously addressing the many issues raised in the various audits.
While the $10 million inventory issue sparked great public discussion, there are many other very serious concerns noted by the auditors who examined the affairs of the Public Hospitals Authority.
As we have reported, Bain's audit raised concern about the formation of what the forensic accountant said appears to be a shell company "quickly established for the purpose of transacting" with the Bahamas National Drug Agency (BNDA), which is administered and governed by the PHA.
Grant Thornton found that there had been a personal bank account established at the Royal Bank of Canada in the name of the Public Hospitals Authority.

Crown Agents
From as far back as November 2008, the global consultants, Crown Agents, highlighted that "inventory management systems are weak".
But Crown Agents recognized that there were initiatives to improve the inventory management capacity in the health sector.
That particular report also notes "there are limited controls over expiration-date management".
The consultants wrote that, "There is an unclear view of the waste and potential risks due to expiration-date management. In part, this is due to weak inventory systems. However, a regulator consolidated date collection and reporting mechanism was not identified."
Crown Agents said this posed a risk to value for money.
In response, PHA's management said new software will allow for virtual inventory statistics to be available.
Additionally, the consultants note that "disclosure policies and common tools to prevent irregularities are inconsistent and/or in need of augmentation.
"It was observed in the assessment that there was less than optimal documented disclosure to help preclude ethical or conflict of interest irregularities.
"Specifically, no disclosure was reported as required from PHA board members involved in the oversight of public funds."
According to Crown Agents, this included no current requirement for written conflict of interest statements and/or statements committing to high standards of ethical behavior.
"In addition, and of significant concern, is that no hotline or whistleblower policy was reported to be in place at any institution within the Ministry of Health," the report says.
"While written statements do not always preclude irregularities, they have been shown to promote a standard of behavior and directly contribute to a demonstrative and positive 'tone at the top'."
The PHA board committed in 2009 to implement a conflict of interest policy to be signed by board members, senior executives and vendors commencing July 1, 2009.
We have no confirmation whether this was ever implemented.
We also know of no whistleblower hotline or policy within the Ministry of Health or within the wider public service.
It would seem proper for Minister of Health Dr. Perry Gomez -- who has so far remained silent in the face of revelations on the PHA -- at the appropriate time (sooner rather than later) to provide to Parliament and the Bahamian people a full reporting into the affairs of the PHA, and any action taken and/or improvements implemented in the wake of the various audits.
We also hope that the integrity of the PHA's files is kept sound as the board follows up on the findings and makes determinations on how best to proceed.
While being careful not to associate sinister motives with any PHA official or employee, one professional accountant explained to us recently that quick action is important to avoid possible destruction or disappearance of files following a forensic accountant's findings.

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News Article

November 05, 2014
Kingsway Academy students dive certified

Kingsway Academy has added a new first to the school's list of accomplishments -- it now has an officially recognized school dive club after science teacher Kiala Clarke revived the fledgling Scuba Club in September 2012 with science lab assistant Jeremy Prosa. Being adventurous and ready for any challenge, Clarke set out to qualify herself, Prosa and the interested students. They enrolled in e-learning at Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas and took their first dive in April 2013. They were all certified as open water divers.
The members of the Scuba Club explored sunken wrecks from movies such as "Into the Blue" and "Jaws".
Their latest dive, 100-feet into the lost blue hole off the southern tip of New Providence, earned Clarke and six of the club's members, Rochea Morely, Kenice Miller, Calvin Tynes, Andre Musgrove, Jer'Choyae Moxey, Kryshelle Adderley, their advanced open water certification.
Over their mid-term break, which students usually use to catch up on sleep, Jesse Green, Alice Roberts, Rashad Gooding, Monice Nazon and Selerstine Fortune earned their open water certification. Previous achievers for open water certification include Carl Braynen, Christopher Moree, Andrew Munnings and Giovanni Edigio and math teacher, William Wolf.
New to the dive team for this school year and hoping to qualify are Christian Sealy, Travis Evans and Ryan White, who said that diving has always intrigued him.
"It is one item on my bucket list of things to experience," said White.
"Under the sea, I am completely free to explore a whole other world. I am one with the sea animals and whatever is found there. I remember the first time I dove, I talked about it for days," said Rochea Morley, an original member of the Scuba Club.
Alice Roberts, who recently qualified, described her first experience as extremely frightening, but after being submerged and swimming around, she said she grew more confident and her fear subsided.
Scuba Club President Andre Musgrove has been diving since he was seven years old. It's a hobby he shared with his father. His most interesting experience, he said, was the first time he encountered a nurse shark, but it's an experience he no longer finds "scary".
His experience and opportunity to watch professional divers and researchers has sparked his interest to pursue underwater videography. He's already begun to use his underwater camera to create mini video clips of the team's dives and the underwater world.
Clarke said she was privileged to share the opportunity with her students. She said the class taken by the would-be divers helped to prepare them for their adventure in the ocean and what they would see and feel in their bodies.
"The instructors are very serious and make you understand the gravity of being underwater. There is no time for horse-play," said recent qualifier Jesse Greene. "We had to learn the hand signals and be honest about any ill feelings. There's no time to be Mr. Macho. Your life depends on it."
The diving certifications could open many career doors for the students, from marine research to technical diving (bridge builders), marine biology, oil exploration and research, animal caretakers, free diving and fishing.
Stuart Cove's Dive Bahamas partnered with Kingsway Academy for two years.

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November 18, 2014
High school students go the distance in cancer fight

Top student athletes are about to go the extra mile to fight cancer - make that 26 miles.
In two months, the student runners will take part in Marathon Bahamas' relay, which takes place on January 18, 2015.
It's all part of the sixth annual Sunshine Insurance Race Weekend (SIRW).
The two-day event, which also includes the Susan G. Komen Bahamas Race for the Cure event, is a community effort that brings awareness to the cancer fight and raises money for the cause.
Each team of four members will collectively run the 26.2 mile marathon. Students from several schools, including St. Anne's, Queen's College and C.H. Reeves Junior High School will participate.
Vice President of Sunshine Insurance and Marathon Bahamas Director Shelly Wilson said her organization is pleased to involve young persons in the race.
"Marathon Bahamas has its primary focus of raising awareness for all health-related issues, particularly cancer, which is truly an epidemic that affects all Bahamian families," she said on Monday during a check presentation event at the Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture.
"We are pleased... to have students, such as the young men represented here today, really commit themselves to this race. You are making such an impact on the lives of Bahamian families, and I say that because so often we think of it as Bahamian women, but anything that you do that affects a Bahamian woman affects a Bahamian family."
This will be the fifth year that Scotiabank has partnered with Marathon Bahamas and the fourth year that it has been the title sponsors of the Scotiabank Student Run Marathon Bahamas event.
"So, this is an exciting part of our Bright Future Program, which gives back to young people in real ways in the community," said Scotiabank Senior Manager of Marketing and Public Relations Leah Davis. "It's always a pleasure to be around young people. This event - and I have to say, it's one of the most inspiring - because you see people of all ages, shapes and sizes just running and they are committed to the goal of finishing, but also to a great cause."
"So, for us, this event represents three opportunities to give back and that is in terms of the promotion of sports tourism, because Marathon Bahamas is a significant contributor in that way, and in the fight against cancer and in supporting young people through our Bright Future Program. So I want to thank Marathon Bahamas for the opportunity to partner for this event, and I want to congratulate all of the schools that have participated in the past and wish all of those who will be running in January the very best of luck."
Trevor Strachan, who is in charge of the student relay portion and is assisting with coordination, said he is hoping to welcome 24 student relay teams and is hoping to have at least two Family Island teams come on board.
Sports Director in the Ministry of Sports, Timothy Munnings said the ministry recognizes the potential and the impact that Marathon Bahamas and the Susan G. Komen Bahamas Race for the Cure have not only on the country as a whole in terms of attracting sports tourism to The Bahamas, but in also raising awareness.
"It is no secret that we are affected across the nation in terms of cancer. These events bring an awareness to this plight which is upon us, and hopefully it will raise money for research in terms of finding a cure.
"We recognize the importance of the event. This is our third consecutive year as a partner and this year we are going to be sponsoring teams. This year we want to encourage more persons to participate. So, we will sponsor teams to participate in the event particularly at the Youth, Sports and Culture Ministry and other agencies."
Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson said Marathon Bahamas "can now be looked at as a staple on our sports tourism calendar".
"Next year we have an enormous sports tourism calendar. We probably have about 10 major events coming to The Bahamas and Marathon Bahamas is always the first one," Minister Johnson said.
"So, it gives us great pleasure to partner with what you're doing, in combination with Scotiabank and what they're doing in sponsoring young people. It's great to see these young men here today. I'd like to see some young women running too. We want to make sure that awareness is raised in that group. Being a medic and a sports person, this is one of the best ways to get the message out about health and wellness and the diseases that affect us most are the chronic non communicable diseases. These are lifestyle diseases. Although you might have a gene for it, it is triggered by your lifestyle. So, this is the perfect entry point to get the message out to young boys and girls that health and wellness must be atop your agenda."
Phillip Joseph, an eighth grader at C.H. Reeves Junior High School who participated in the 2014 marathon, said his experience was "excellent and exhausting".
"It was great. I'm looking forward to catching these guys," he said referring to his competitors.
Roy McCarroll, a 12th grader at Queen's College, said his experience was "tremendous."
"We had a good team. We came out in third place behind C.H. Reeves and St. Anne's. This year we lost one of our crucial runners, but we've managed to find some other guys and we're looking forward to doing a little better this year and representing Queen's College."
Dominic Lightbourne, a 12th grader at St. Anne's, noted that St. Anne's placed second in 2014.
"The experience was great. Our team, it probably isn't as good as last year, but we hope to come first. We came second last year and overall the scenery and the whole run allows us to show our talent," he said.
Sunshine Insurance Race Weekend takes place on January 17-18, 2015.
Proceeds benefit the Cancer Society of The Bahamas, the Cancer Association of Grand Bahama, the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation, the Bahamas Breast Cancer Initiative Foundation and Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group.
To register for the Susan G. Komen Bahamas Race for the Cure, visit To register for Marathon Bahamas, visit
o To sponsor Marathon Bahamas, contact Chakita Archer at

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News Article

November 27, 2014
Miller: I will not bend on union contract

Despite increasing pressure from the Bahamas Electrical Workers Union (BEWU), Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) Executive Chairman Leslie Miller said his resolve will not bend and declared that if "we lose this battle, the country is going to lose the war".
Leaders of the BEWU engaged in its second day of work-to-rule yesterday over issues regarding the union's industrial agreement. BEWU President Paul Maynard claimed that Miller is unnecessarily blocking the process.
He warned that the union will continue to increase the pressure and said it will also take strike action if that becomes necessary.
Miller has called for the union to renegotiate some of the terms of its contract, but Maynard said as far as he is concerned "negotiations are over".
"He will sign the industrial agreement," Maynard said, referring to Miller. "Or he will wish he did."
When asked to expound on that, Maynard said, "You will see.
"We don't care about Miller's demands... He better hope that the union doesn't have to vote in 2017."
Maynard said the union will continue to engage in industrial action until the contract issues are resolved.
But Miller said he would also remain firm.
"BEC union has the Bahamian people between a rock and a hard place," he said. "We have to stand firm. I believe that if we lose this battle the country is going to lose the war.
"There's a point of saturation where there is just nothing left. In BEC there is nothing left. What is there? You lose $33 million, the local supplier is cutting you off. You can't pay for your fuel. You owe Shell West $130 million. You want more? Where is the money going to come from? What more do you want?"
The union and Miller are wrangling over several issues including demands regarding lump sum payments and rostering.
Maynard previously said Miller's call for the union to renegotiate is laughable considering that the union has already sat down with two government Cabinet ministers, a board member, two government labor negotiators, BEC's general manager and deputy general manager over the past three months and negotiated a six-year industrial agreement, at the request of the government.
Maynard said, "It was reviewed by the minister of labour and I informed him that I would have my membership ratify the agreement, which they did."
The union president claimed that Miller was invited to a meeting in the office of the deputy prime minister but did not attend.
The new contract, which the union wants retroactive to May 2012, would expire in 2018, according to Maynard.
However, Miller said that BEC cannot afford to meet the union's demands.
Asked yesterday if he intends to sign the contract, he said, "I don't think any human being with a good conscience would sign any agreement that is not in the best interest of the people of The Bahamas."
"BEC has become a burden to all of us," he added.
Maynard said the union isn't asking for any additional benefits. He said it only wants to maintain what it is already receiving.
As it relates to rostering, he said the union has agreed to look at the issue in another six months.
The union president previously warned, "If they (government officials) renege on a deal because of Mr. Miller, there would be hell to pay."

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November 25, 2014
Over 4.3 mil. in NIB benefits paid in first half of 2014

The government shelled out more than $4.3 million in unemployment benefits to just over 2,000 people during the first half of this year, according to the Department of Statistics.
That's slightly less than the $4.7 million it paid out to nearly 3,000 people during the preceding six months.
According to the National Insurance Board (NIB) report, which was released this month, a total of 14,430 people claimed NIB benefits up to the second quarter of this year. Of those, 2,086 people received the unemployment benefit.
Sickness benefits, maternity benefits, funeral benefits, sickness assistance and industrial injury benefits are among the benefits that NIB contributors claimed.
The data shows that $6.2 million was paid to 8,907 people in sickness benefits; over $3 million was paid to 1,546 people in maternity benefits; $1.3 million was paid to 815 in funeral benefits; $697,000 was paid in sickness assistance to three people; and $1.7 million was paid to 1,073 people in industrial injury benefits.
NIB paid out a total of $17,172,896 in short term benefits to 14,430 people during that period.
Similar figures were recorded during the previous six months.
During that period, NIB paid out $17,372,666 to 14,661 people in the second half of 2013.
A breakdown of the data shows that $6.2 million was paid to 8,302 people in sickness benefits; $3.5 million was paid to 1,703 people in maternity benefits; $1.2 million was paid to 753 in funeral benefits; $982,000 was paid in sickness assistance to two people; and $1.5 million was paid to 1,002 people in industrial injury benefits.
NIB also paid out $88 million in long-term benefits and another $12,442,863 in industrial benefits during the first half of 2014.
Long-term benefits include retirement, invalidity and survivors' contributory pension as well as old age invalidity and survivors' assistance pension, as well as disablement benefits and grants, industrial death, injury benefits and medical care.
During the 2013/14 fiscal year, NIB paid out $228,958,184 in short-term, industrial and long term benefits and collected $233,589,542 in contributions, according to the data.
In 2012, NIB collected $203,044,319 in contributions and paid out $199,807,913.
Former NIB Actuary Derek Osborne told Guardian Business last month that changes must be made at the fund in order to avoid very high NIB contribution rates in the future.
"Costs are increasing at a faster rate than revenues," he said. "And so to avoid very high contribution rates in the future, a few things need to be changed. The three main ones are reducing the cost of administration, diversifying the fund's investments and improving governance practices at all levels."
While still at NIB in 2013, Osbourne projected that the fund would become insolvent in 2029 unless changes were made.

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November 27, 2014

Sheldon's picks

Guardian Sports Editor
WEEK 12: 12-3
OVERALL: 110-65-1

Thanksgiving Week

Thursday's games
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions, 12:30 p.m.
It's amazing how quickly things could change in the NFL. After that shellacking to the hands of the Patriots last week, the Lions no longer have the best defense in the league. That distinction now belongs to the Seahawks led by their "Legion of Boom". Be that as it may, the Lions are back home this week after loaning their stadium to the Bills on Monday night, and they will play the hibernating Bears in a key divisional battle. Well, it's key for the Lions anyway, if they intend to wrestle the division title away from the Packers. I think the Lions will rebound from a horrific showing in Foxborough and take care of the Bears in this one.
Lions 24, Bears 16

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m.
This annual "Turkey Day" home game for the Cowboys will be more significant than most. It will be for first place in the National Football Conference's (NFC) East Division, and quite possibly for one of the top two seeds in the entire conference. Both of these teams have explosive offenses, but I'm not sold on the Cowboys' ability to rush the passer and create turnovers which could be pivotal in a game like this. Also, Tony Romo has a knack for giving away meaningful games late in the season. I'll take the Eagles on the road in what should be a very entertaining game.
Eagles 34, Cowboys 31

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers, 8:30 p.m.
The loser of this game could very well miss the playoffs this year. At the very least, they will be on the outside looking in. After last week's showings, the Seahawks and Niners have the number one and two defenses in the league respectively. That's particularly impressive considering the personnel that both teams lost on that side of the ball this season. These two division rivals have similar make-ups and play basically the same way, but they absolutely hate each other. This will probably be the most physical game of the week, and I for one, surely won't miss it. I'll have to go with the better offense in this one, and that belongs to the Super Bowl Champs Seahawks.
Seahawks 19, 49ers 13

Sunday's games
San Diego Chargers at Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m.
Quite a few teams are battling for playoff spots in the American Football Conference (AFC), and these two teams are right in mix. Ever since that early season flurry, the Chargers haven't been the same though. Meanwhile, the Ravens have caught steam. With Justin Forsett running like a man possessed, and Torrey Smith starting to perfectly compliment Steve Smith Sr., the Ravens are producing offensively. Also, their defense is coming around. On top of that, the Chargers don't travel well to the east coast, so the Ravens should be able to take care of business at home.
Ravens 27, Chargers 20

Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m.
Sooner or later, a team is going to have to slip in a very competitive AFC North division. All four teams are 7-4 or better, and just a half game separates first from worst. The Browns is the least experienced of those four teams, so they might be in for a rough December. Taking on the Bills in Buffalo this Sunday won't be easy. Brian Hoyer has been terrific for the Browns, and their running game is coming around, but the Bills are in the playoff mix as well and will look at this game as one which could possibly make or break their season. I'm not sure you'll see much offense in this one. I think the Bills will feed off their defense and win a low-scoring grueling contest.
Bills 17, Browns 13

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans, 1 p.m.
J.J. Watt didn't really have a strong game against the Bengals last Sunday. For the most part, he was rendered ineffective by the Bengals. I can't see what could very well be the Defensive Player of the Year struggling for two weeks back-to-back. Someway, somehow, he will be a force this week against the Titans, and might be a factor in the outcome. Besides, Arian Foster could be back for the Texans. The Titans could be a pesky lil team, but I think the Texans realize the magnitude of this game. They could ill afford to lose games like this if they have any intention of making the playoffs this year.
Texans 23, Titans 20

Washington Redskins at Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m.
The Colts are in control of their division and are in playoff mode while the Redskins appear to be just playing out the schedule and are headed for the NFL Draft. Quite frankly, there's no way that the Colts lose this game. Two years ago, this game would have been a huge attraction with Andrew Luck facing off against RG3 (Robert Griffin III), but even that has lost some luster with RG3's sporadic play the last few weeks. As a matter of fact, it appears that the Redskins are planning to start Colt McCoy over RG3 this week. Meanwhile, the Colts still have to fix their running game and they have to do a better job of protecting Luck, but somehow they still own the league's best passing attack. They'll have too much offense for the "Deadskins" on Sunday.
Colts 37, Redskins 20

N.Y. Giants at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m.
I'm still in awe of that three-finger grab by Odell Beckham Jr. of the Giants last week. Simply put, that was one of the best catches that I have ever seen. With young stars like him and Rashad Jennings to build around, the Giants have a bright future. The Jags have some young stars of their own, but they don't have enough talent to be competitive in this league yet. They're still lingering on just one win this season. I think Eli Manning will lead the troops into battle in Jacksonville and help the Giants get a much needed win. A win in this one could save Tom Coughlin's job next season. A loss to the lowly Jags, and he's certainly doomed.
Giants 24, Jaguars 14

Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m.
Even after being well-rested and coming off a bye, I don't know if I can trust Cam Newton and the Panthers to have a spirited showing in Minnesota. They have been that bad this season. Quite frankly, I rather go with the rookie quarterback in this one. Teddy Bridgewater has shown a lot of poise in his starting role with the Vikes. At the end of the day, neither of these teams will probably be in the playoffs this year, but I have to take the Vikes at home. The Panthers have been that awful.
Vikings 20, Panthers 17

New Orleans Saints at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m.
After dropping three straight at home, the Saints will take their act on the road against a Pittsburgh team that is getting healthier by the day, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. This should be a great quarterback match-up between "Big Ben" Roethlisberger and Drew Brees, but it might be the running games which come to the forefront in this inter-conference battle. As lackluster as the Saints have been this season, at 4-7, they're still tied for first place in their division, meaning, they still have huge playoff aspirations. The Steelers is simply the better team right now though. Coming off a bye, they'll be prepared for the Saints and will continue their pursuit of an AFC North title, or at the very least, a playoff spot.
Steelers 28, Saints 24

Oakland Raiders at St. Louis Rams, 1 p.m.
As much as I like clowning on the Raiders, it was good to see them get that elusive first win last week Thursday. Now, they can get back to their losing ways. Meanwhile, despite their 4-7 record, the Rams have been pleasantly surprising this year. They have knocked off some big teams and have been competitive in others. At one point, both of these teams called the city of Los Angeles home. I don't think the "City of Angels" would want any of these franchises right now, but as mentioned earlier, it's the Rams that has been more impressive. They should win this game easily on Sunday.
Rams 27, Raiders 16

Cincinnati Bengals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m.
Andy Dalton is still shaky at quarterback for the Bengals, but for the most part, he's getting the job done. They are winning key games and are in first place in the very competitive AFC North Division. They'll have to keep winning in order to hold off the other three teams in what has become the best division race in football. The Bengals have a formidable duo at wide receiver in A.J. Green and Mohamed Sanu, but their backfield of Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill has been impressive as well. The Bucs have been getting good production out of Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson lately, but they don't have enough firepower to keep up with the Bengals in this one.
Bengals 31, Buccaneers 23
Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons, 4:05 p.m.
After getting derailed by the Super Bowl Champs last week, the Cards find themselves with another tough road game this week, but I think that they'll get back on track and handle business in Atlanta. After winning two straight, the Falcons lost on a last second field goal to the Browns last week. They're not as formidable in the Georgia Dome as they once was. Drew Stanton has been surprisingly good for the Cardinals this year, and they have beaten some big teams. They appear headed to an NFC West title, and I don't think they'll let teams like the Falcons stand in their way.
Cardinals 30, Falcons 27

New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers, 4:25 p.m.
As good as the Patriots have been, surging all the way to the number one team in the power rankings, it's tough for me to pick any team going up against the Packers at Lambeau. Two of the game's best gun slingers will air it out on Sunday, but the Packers is a different animal at home. In the words of Stephen A. Smith, "Aaron Rodgers is a bad man", particularly at dreaded Lambeau Field. Some people see this as a potential Super Bowl preview, but I still like the Seahawks to make a late surge and come out of the NFC and I still think the Pats will falter in the playoffs. Either way, this should be a great match-up on Sunday. There's no way I'm going against Mr Rodgers at Lambeau though.
Packers 37, Patriots 34

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs, 8:30 p.m.
There's nothing wrong with Denver's offense. They proved that last week against the number two ranked defense at the time, the Miami Dolphins. This week Peyton and crew face the league's best passing defense, and number eight overall, in the Chiefs. The Chiefs will be looking for revenge after an early season loss to the Broncos, and I think they'll get it. Peyton and the Broncos' high octane passing attack will see first hand what Tom Brady and the Pats had to deal with this year when they visited the noisiest outdoor arena in football, Arrowhead Stadium. I think the Chiefs will bring the heat, pressure Peyton and force some bad throws. I like them to get a big win against their division rivals in this primetime affair.
Chiefs 27, Broncos 24

Monday's game
Miami Dolphins at N.Y. Jets, 8:30 p.m.
Believe it or not, the Dolphins could very well be 9-2 right now. They dropped three very winnable games agains three tough opponents - the Packers, Lions and Broncos. This week, they face a subpar opponent in the Jets. With the Ravens and Patriots lurking on the schedule, this could be a trap game for the Dolphins. I think they'll be ready to execute on both sides of the ball though. The defense dropped to number five in the league after giving up all those yards and points to the Broncos last week but I think they'll rebound with a big showing this week. The defense will get back on track, and that underrated offense will continue to put points on the board. It all adds up to another victory for the Dolphins.
Dolphins 30, Jets 16

Naughty's picks

Radio Personality
WEEK 12: 11-4
OVERALL: 116-59-1

Thanksgiving Week
As usual, Naughty was late with his picks as he "claims" he was busy again! He apologizes for lack of commentary, but says he was on the road and consequently sent them in over the phone. Anyway, here they are... just the scores.

Thursday's games
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions, 12:30 p.m.
Lions 24, Bears 23

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m.
Cowboys 34, Eagles 31

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers, 8:30 p.m.
Seahawks 17, 49ers 16

Sunday's games
San Diego Chargers at Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m.
Ravens 23, Chargers 20

Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m.
Bills 24, Browns 20

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans, 1 p.m.
Texans 24, Titans 17

Washington Redskins at Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m.
Colts 34, Redskins 17

N.Y. Giants at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m.
Jaguars 27, Giants 24

Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m.
Vikings 20, Panthers 17

New Orleans Saints at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m.
Steelers 27, Saints 20

Oakland Raiders at St. Louis Rams, 1 p.m.
Rams 20, Raiders 14

Cincinnati Bengals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m.
Bengals 24, Buccaneers 16

Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons, 4:05 p.m.
Cardinals 27, Falcons 24

New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers, 4:25 p.m.
Packers 31, Patriots 27

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs, 8:30 p.m.
Broncos 27, Chiefs 26

Monday's game
Miami Dolphins at N.Y. Jets, 8:30 p.m.
Dolphins 24, Jets 21

Jammal's picks

Guardian NFL Analyst
WEEK 12: 12-3
OVERALL: 114-61-1

Thanksgiving Week

Thursday's games
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions, 12:30 p.m.
Detroit hasn't scored an offensive touchdown in three weeks and a team that was once poised for an outstanding year is heading on a downward spiral. Luckily for them, the Bears aren't showing any indications of a team that can turn it around after some lackluster wins against Tampa Bay and Minnesota. I believe the Lions will get it together offensively on Sunday and find the end zone on multiple occasions, securing a much needed victory to keep pace in the NFC North.
Lions 34, Bears 21

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m.
As December approaches, the biggest question swirling around the football world is whether or not Tony Romo will revert to his vintage end of season form where he finds ways to lose games. I believe that Romo will rise to the occasion and put those questions to rest and lead Dallas into the playoffs. As for Philly, this will be a tall task for them to go into "Jerry's World" and steal a victory. I'm not sold on Mark Sanchez doing that, and I'm confident in the Cowboys' ability to take care of business at home using the same formula that has won them eight games already. This game won't be short of explosive plays, but I believe Romo and the 'Boys will take control of the NFC East with a victory.
Cowboys 30, Eagles 20

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers, 8:30 p.m.
It's no coincidence that both of these teams have the same record, getting healthier and starting to hit their stride at the same point in the season. Bitter rivalries tend to bring out the best in teams and I expect this game to be a battle of attrition and as physical as it gets. The key to this game will be the pass rush for both teams, and I believe the 49ers will have a slight edge with Aldon Smith already making a huge impact in the front seven. Seattle will struggle containing Colin Kaepernick and Frank Gore on the ground and if San Fran sticks to running the football then they have a chance to control the outcome of this game. The Seahawks' effectiveness starts and ends with Marshawn Lynch, and I believe he will have a tough time dominating the game on the ground like he has been in the past several weeks. This game won't be high scoring, but every yard gained will count in this one. San Fran will be the better team on Thursday night.
49ers 17, Seahawks 14

Sunday's games
San Diego Chargers at Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m.
Although the record may not fully indicate it, I believe this Ravens team is as good as any team that made deep playoff runs in the past. The mental toughness of this Baltimore team is what separates them from all of the other teams vying for a playoff berth and I expect them to be the better team against a San Diego squad that has lost its mojo. Although Phillip Rivers can make it interesting, I don't see him travelling to the east coast and pulling off a victory in a hostile environment.
Ravens 26, Chargers 14

Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m.
The return of Josh Gordon has already paid huge dividends for the Browns in their huge win last week at Atlanta and I expect it to do the same this week in Buffalo. While the Bills are competing every week, I believe that they will fail to match Cleveland's intensity on both sides of the ball on Sunday. Both of these teams want to end their playoff droughts, and I believe the Browns are the hungrier team. It will show on Sunday.
Browns 24, Bills 16

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans, 1 p.m.
Even with Ryan Mallett being done for the season, I still believe the Texans are good enough to win at home with inconsistent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Titans should be trying to position themselves for a top draft pick and I believe Houston will keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
Texans 27, Titans 17

Washington Redskins at Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m.
This will be the first match-up between the first and second overall picks in the 2012 NFL Draft when Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III square off on Sunday. Both of their careers are heading in different directions and I believe Luck will make a statement and prove why he's the best player from his draft class. As for the game, the Colts have been very dominant at home and I don't see the Redskins going into Indy and leaving with a victory. A strong defensive outing will complement Luck's day, leading to a victory.
Colts 31, Redskins 13

N.Y. Giants at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m.
The G-men finally get a break as they will play a team that they should be able to beat in the Jaguars. I don't see them having a letdown on the road. Eli Manning will be sharp and Odell Beckham Jr. will be sensational, so I expect New York to come out on top.
Giants 24, Jaguars 14

Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m.
It seems as if nobody wants to win the NFC South based on how the teams are playing, but I believe the Panthers will finally play some quality football after having a much needed bye week. Carolina's defense should play with confidence going up against a rookie quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater and I believe they get a much needed win to stay alive in the division race.
Panthers 22, Vikings 14

New Orleans Saints at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m.
My confidence in the Saints is dwindling by the week and I don't see how this team can steal a win against a Steelers team that is coming off a bye week. Luckily for New Orleans, they can afford to drop a game, while Pittsburgh doesn't have the same luxury in their tight AFC North division race. I like the home team to secure a win.
Steelers 28, Saints 20

Oakland Raiders at St. Louis Rams, 1 p.m.
The Rams are certainly fighting to the end in each game they play and I think they will be relieved to play an opponent that only has one win 12 weeks into the season. If that physicality on both sides of the ball is present on Sunday and Shaun Hill can play a mistake-free game, then St. Louis should emerge victorious.
Rams 23, Raiders 10

Cincinnati Bengals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m.
Cincy has found their mojo again and I don't see a letdown happening in Tampa Bay on Sunday. The Bucs certainly won't lay down and accept defeat, but the better team will prevail.
Bengals 21, Buccaneers 13

Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons, 4:05 p.m.
My Falcons let a win slip out of their claws after poor clock management and missed opportunities. They picked the wrong week to run into one of the best defenses in football, and because this game won't be of the shootout variety, the Cardinals will win in smash mouth fashion.
Cardinals 24, Falcons 13

New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers, 4:25 p.m.
This is my pick for game of the week. I believe these elite quarterbacks will put on a great show on the national stage. As much as I would like to side with my Super Bowl pick in the Patriots, I believe Aaron Rodgers will be slightly better than Tom Brady and have a dominant game in the air. While Brady and the Pats have been brilliant over the past month and a half, I think this is the game where they finally cool off and come back to Earth with the rest of the league. This won't be short of entertaining, but I think Green Bay will be the victors.
Packers 34, Patriots 24

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs, 8:30 p.m.
The Broncos can take control of the AFC West with a win this week, and I believe Peyton Manning will drill into his teammates to play with a sense of urgency on Sunday night. Stopping Jamaal Charles will be key for Denver, and if they can neutralize him on the ground then the element of surprise in the play action game won't be there. I don't expect this to be a high-scoring game, but Denver will do just enough to steal a victory in a hostile environment.
Broncos 23, Chiefs 13

Monday's game
Miami Dolphins at N.Y. Jets, 8:30 p.m.
I don't have any faith in New York making this an enjoyable Monday night game. If the Dolphins can't beat this atrocity of a Jets team then they don't need to be in the playoff conversation anymore. I'm confident Miami will handle business behind a solid defensive outing and another decent performance from Ryan Tannehill.
Dolphins 21, Jets 10

Teej's picks

Guardian NFL Analyst
WEEK 12: 8-7
OVERALL: 107-68-1

Thanksgiving Week

Thursday's games
Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions, 12:30 p.m.
Bitter rivals clash in Thanksgiving's first football game. Going with the theme of Thanksgiving, one team will emerge standing like the Pilgrims, and the other team will be laid flat like the Indians. The Bears are now slowly assuming the spoiler position, and I think they further spoil the Lions chance of snatching the division in an upset.
Bears 27, Lions 26

Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m.
The Eagles need their starters on deck for this game. No Nick Foles can probably mean not enough points scored. The Cowboys are playing amazing football, and it will be hard for any division rival to go into "Jerry's World" and beat the 'Boys!
Cowboys 34, Eagles 23

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers, 8:30 p.m.
The Seahawks are not what they used to be, especially on the road. Even though the 49ers aren't what they used to be either, I think the 49ers is the better team at the moment, and they will set themselves up to claim the number two spot in the NFC West.
49ers 20, Seahawks 18

Sunday's games
San Diego Chargers at Baltimore Ravens, 1 p.m.
The Chargers travel cross country to play the Ravens around 10 a.m. San Diego time. That means in Baltimore they have a 1 o'clock game against a team with tons of confidence after a big win on Monday night against the Saints. With the Ravens' running game being as efficient as it was on Monday night, I see no sign of the Chargers beating them after traveling all the way from the west coast.
Ravens 21, Chargers 20

Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills, 1 p.m.
The Browns just look good, especially in crunch time. Josh Gordon is back, and I know he has something to prove. Expect him to put up big numbers on Sunday, leading the Browns to a victory.
Browns 24, Bills 16

Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans, 1 p.m.
The Texans are not what they should be, but neither are the Titans. In this "snooze fest" of a game, the home team will be the better team.
Texans 23, Titans 18

Washington Redskins at Indianapolis Colts, 1 p.m.
Benching Robert Griffin III to start Colt McCoy will not make a significant difference in the outcome of Sunday's game against the Colts.
Colts 31, Redskins 23

N.Y. Giants at Jacksonville Jaguars, 1 p.m.
After Odell Beckham Jr.'s spectacular catch and his breakout game against the Cowboys, we know his confidence has to be through the roof. With him, the Giants are still bad, but they are not bad like the Jaguars.
Giants 27, Jaguars 13

Carolina Panthers at Minnesota Vikings, 1 p.m.
The Vikings have struggled, but so have the Panthers. When we look at these two teams, we see youth on one team and we see experience on the other. We think experience will prevail in this match-up.
Panthers 27, Vikings 16

New Orleans Saints at Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m.
The Saints play great football one week and play horrible football the next week. This week they are due for a big game against the Steelers. I don't know why and I don't have statistical evidence to back up my prediction, but the Saints will win.
Saints 23, Steelers 19

Oakland Raiders at St. Louis Rams, 1 p.m.
My uncle always told me, "when you roll the dice, roll the dice twice!" The Raiders will win on the road and get their second win of the season.
Raiders 23, Rams 6

Cincinnati Bengals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1 p.m.
The Bengals is a team fighting to get in the postseason. Right now, I don't have much faith in the Bengals, not even to beat the lowly Buccaneers.
Buccaneers 27, Bengals 23

Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons, 4:05 p.m.
The Cardinals took a hard blow when they lost to the Seahawks over the weekend. This Sunday, they hope to redeem themselves against the Falcons. The Cardinals should win.
Cardinals 20, Falcons 12

New England Patriots at Green Bay Packers, 4:25 p.m.
Some would argue that the Patriots have the best quarterback and the best team in the league right now. Well, I can't say the same. My Dolphins beat the Patriots and lost to the Packers. Aaron Rodgers will prove that he is a better quarterback than Tom Brady on this day. I am making the bold prediction that Aaron Rodgers will throw for four touchdowns against the Patriots in a win.
Packers 35, Patriots 28

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs, 8:30 p.m.
The Broncos barely escaped Miami, and they hope to be better defensively this week. The Chiefs will send a lot of different blitzes at Peyton Manning, interrupting the flow of the game for them. With a defense like that, I have to take the home team.
Chiefs 28, Broncos 24

Monday's game
Miami Dolphins at N.Y. Jets, 8:30 p.m.
The Jets need to dig deep into their bench and practice squad to find a quarterback who can throw the ball. Against this Dolphins' defense, they don't stand a chance at scoring over 20 points. The Dolphins' offense looks consistent in scoring over 20 points, even against great defenses, so they should win this one easily.
Dolphins 27, Jets 17

Overall standings

Devin Francis
WEEK 12: 11-4
OVERALL: 121-54-1
Week 13 Picks: Lions, Cowboys, Seahawks, Ravens, Bills, Texans, Colts, Giants, Vikings, Steelers, Rams, Bengals, Cardinals, Patriots, Broncos and Dolphins.

Naughty (Hot 91.7FM)
WEEK 12: 11-4
OVERALL: 116-59-1
Week 13 Picks: Lions, Cowboys, Seahawks, Ravens, Bills, Texans, Colts, Jaguars, Vikings, Steelers, Rams, Bengals, Cardinals, Packers, Broncos and Dolphins.

Jammal Smith
WEEK 12: 12-3
OVERALL: 114-61-1
Week 13 Picks: Lions, Cowboys, 49ers, Ravens, Browns, Texans, Colts, Giants, Panthers, Steelers, Rams, Bengals, Cardinals, Packers, Broncos and Dolphins.

Royston Jones Jr.
WEEK 12: 11-4
OVERALL: 114-61-1
Week 13 Picks: Lions, Cowboys, 49ers, Ravens, Bills, Texans, Colts, Giants, Vikings, Steelers, Rams, Bengals, Cardinals, Packers, Broncos and Dolphins.

Brent Dean
WEEK 12: 12-3
OVERALL: 112-63-1
Week 13 Picks: Lions, Cowboys, 49ers, Ravens, Bills, Texans, Colts, Giants, Vikings, Steelers, Rams, Bengals, Cardinals, Packers, Chiefs and Dolphins.

Wally Ferguson
WEEK 12: 10-5
OVERALL: 112-63-1
Week 13 Picks: Lions, Eagles, Seahawks, Ravens, Browns, Texans, Colts, Jaguars, Panthers, Steelers, Rams, Bengals, Cardinals, Packers, Broncos and Dolphins.

Kermit Rahming
WEEK 12: 9-6
OVERALL: 112-63-1
Week 13 Picks: Lions, Cowboys, Seahawks, Ravens, Bills, Texans, Colts, Giants, Vikings, Steelers, Rams, Bengals, Cardinals, Patriots, Broncos and Dolphins.

Reggie Ocean
WEEK 12: 9-6
OVERALL: 111-64-1
Week 13 Picks: Lions, Cowboys, Seahawks, Ravens, Browns, Titans, Colts, Giants, Vikings, Steelers, Rams, Bengals, Falcons, Packers, Chiefs and Dolphins.

Sheldon Longley (Defending Champion)
WEEK 12: 12-3
OVERALL: 110-65-1
Week 13 Picks: Lions, Eagles, Seahawks, Ravens, Bills, Texans, Colts, Giants, Vikings, Steelers, Rams, Bengals, Cardinals, Packers, Chiefs and Dolphins.

Stephen "Steebie J" Johnson
WEEK 12: 10-5
OVERALL: 110-65-1
Week 13 Picks: Bears, Eagles, 49ers, Ravens, Bills, Titans, Colts, Giants, Panthers, Saints, Raiders, Bengals, Falcons, Packers, Broncos and Dolphins.

Brad Hanna
WEEK 12: 9-6
OVERALL: 109-66-1
Week 13 Picks: Lions, Eagles, Seahawks, Ravens, Bills, Texans, Colts, Giants, Vikings, Steelers, Rams, Bengals, Cardinals, Packers, Chiefs and Dolphins.

Tito Butler
WEEK 12: 13-2
OVERALL: 108-67-1
Week 13 Picks: Lions, Eagles, 49ers, Ravens, Browns, Texans, Colts, Giants, Vikings, Saints, Rams, Bengals, Cardinals, Patriots, Broncos and Dolphins.

Antoinne Robinson
WEEK 12: 10-5
OVERALL: 108-67-1
Week 13 Picks: Lions, Cowboys, 49ers, Ravens, Bills, Texans, Colts, Giants, Vikings, Steelers, Rams, Bengals, Cardinals, Packers, Broncos and Dolphins.

Tony "Teej" Grant Jr.
WEEK 12: 8-7
OVERALL: 107-68-1
Week 13 Picks: Bears, Cowboys, 49ers, Ravens, Browns, Texans, Colts, Giants, Panthers, Saints, Raiders, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Packers, Chiefs and Dolphins.

Juan McCartney
WEEK 12: 11-4
OVERALL: 106-69-1
Week 13 Picks: Bears, Cowboys, 49ers, Ravens, Browns, Texans, Colts, Giants, Vikings, Saints, Rams, Bengals, Falcons, Patriots, Broncos and Dolphins.

Simba French
WEEK 12: 11-4
OVERALL: 105-70-1
Week 13 Picks: Lions, Cowboys, Seahawks, Ravens, Browns, Texans, Colts, Giants, Panthers, Steelers, Rams, Bengals, Cardinals, Patriots, Broncos and Dolphins.

Randy Smith
WEEK 12: 11-4
OVERALL: 103-72-1
Week 13 Picks: Lions, Cowboys, Seahawks, Chargers, Browns, Titans, Colts, Giants, Panthers, Saints, Rams, Bengals, Cardinals, Packers, Broncos and Dolphins.

Richard Rudon
WEEK 12: 7-8
OVERALL: 100-75-1
Week 13 Picks: Lions, Cowboys, 49ers, Chargers, Browns, Texans, Colts, Giants, Panthers, Saints, Rams, Bengals, Cardinals, Patriots, Chiefs and Dolphins.

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News Article

June 18, 2011
(VIDEO) Pew: Protect Our Sharks, Say Bahamas' Children

Hear from Bahamian children from various islands of The Bahamas along with Bahamas National Trust Education Officer, Shelly Cant deliver a message on protecting sharks in The Bahamas.

This video Public Service Announcement This PSA was produced by The Bahamas National Trust (BNT), in collaboration with Pew environment Group, in support of a grassroots petition to protect sharks in Bahamian waters.

Sharks are in trouble globally, and there are few locations where healthy shark populations still exist. In The Bahamas, a 20 year-old ban on longline fishing gear has left its waters as one of the few places in the world with relatively healthy shark...

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News Article

December 04, 2014
Kindness Thursday

Today is the beginning of what I call social transformation month in The Bahamas. It is my national appeal for everyone living in The Bahamas to begin a war against anger, violence, animosity, and hatred by using simple humane and loving actions toward each other. Each Thursday during December I ask everyone in The Bahamas to participate in a specific action that has been a part of our heritage for decades but seems to be diminishing. I am inviting everyone to make the entire month a time of rebuilding, reconnecting, healing, and mending broken or wounded relationships. Let us make December a month to start being nice, loving, humane and respectful to everyone -- hence, today is "Kindness Thursday".
Next week, December 11, will be "smiling Thursday"; December 18 will be "friendship Thursday"; December 25 will be "giving Thursday". The final day in this social reform month will be on January 1, 2015 when it will be "new relationship Thursday". This special day can also be observed in churches on the Saturday or Sunday. Thus we can have kindness Saturday/Sunday.
Kindness according to a Wikipedia definition is a behavior marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and concern for others. Note that to be kind we need first to generate an attitude of concern for others. We cannot live as though we are all isolationists, cold, hermits, living on an island alone. The words of a song come to mind: "No man is an island ... Each man as my brother, each man as my friend."
Dear reader, acts of kindness towards anyone we touch can make a big difference in our land. One author says: "An act of kindness is a spontaneous gesture of goodwill towards someone or something." Thus, today I am requesting everyone to do some act of kindness. Make this entire day special in your life as you join everyone in the nation by doing something special.
While we are endeavoring to change our society through acts of kindness, it is imperative that we be wise. When carrying out acts of kindness, care should be taken not to intrude or embarrass. Discretion is the operative word. Give your smile or whatever, and then move on, unless the receiver gives out signals that she would like to talk.
What you can do
To be kind towards someone would require one to be observant and sensitive to what is happening around him. For many, it will require that one comes out of his shell of reclusiveness or shyness to reach out to someone, even an animal in need. Here are a few acts of kindness. Help a disabled or elderly person across the street. As you walk in to a store, hold the door open for the person behind you.
Give someone a glass of water to quench his thirst. Offer to assist a person who needs help cleaning his yard. Provide transportation for someone who needs help getting to the store. Give an hour or two to help someone prepare their home for Christmas. Cut the grass of a neighbor. Give a homeless person your doggie bag. Help someone whose car has broken down. Be a designated driver. Offer change when the person in front of you at the register comes up short. Return a shopping cart. Write a letter or send an email to a child or adult who could use some extra attention.
Dear friend, these acts of kindness are not to end today. It is to mark a new beginning in your life, family and society. We are not only to be kind on one day of the year but every day. Let us all try a little kindness. In the 1970s Glen Campbell made a song popular that expresses the sentiment of this article. The song is "Try a Little Kindness."
"Try a little kindness"
If you see your brother standing by the road
With a heavy load from the seeds he's sowed
And if you see your sister falling by the way
Just stop and say "You're going the wrong way"
You got to try a little kindness, yes show a little kindness
Just shine your light for everyone to see
And if you try a little kindness then you'll overlook the blindness
Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets
Don't walk around the down and out
Lend a helping hand instead of doubt
And the kindness that you show every day
Will help someone along their way.

o Barrington H. Brennen is a marriage and family therapist and board certified clinical psychotherapist, U.S.A. Send your questions or comments to; or write to P.O. Box CB-13019, Nassau, The Bahamas; or visit; or call 242-327-1980, or 242-477-4002.

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News Article

December 03, 2014
The wild world of consultancy

Ever worked for an organization where consultants walk in and out through a revolving door? As one of those persons that had the door greet me and hit me on the way out, I tend to smile at the nature of the work.
As a management consultant, I have been both whipping boy and savior to both the same and different organizations. But in all times I left a place better than how I met it, or at least I'd like to think so!
Bahamians tend to rag on "consultants", in particular Bahamian consultants that align themselves with political parties. Bahamians typically see them as cronies, hustlers, gravy train riders and just all out vermin. We often refer to them as the special group of "friends, family and lovers".
As someone on the hustle myself, you tend to take the ribs, jibes and abuse with a grain of salt. Not because I'm of the friend, family or lover persuasion. But because you have to take that burden into a game where it has been sullied and made mockery of by people with legitimate reasons to do so.
Plus, when you factor in how really insulting and derogatory that particular friend, family and lover statement is, particularly when you see the same old "consultants" awarded numerous government contracts, from any standpoint (because it does not take a Nobel Laureate to appreciate if something is useful, working or not), one really has to be relaxed and calm amidst the regular jostling for prominence in this very broad field of consultancy in The Bahamas.
But, it does raise a particular concern: What exactly does a consultant do? Better yet, what are consultants supposed to be doing?
In short, we can only do what you want us to do. We can't undo anything either, unless instructed to do so. And in your organization, we are only bound by the rules of engagement you set for us.
Especially with contractually obligated agreements, most consultants in the field for more than five years tend to appreciate sticking with the original agreement unless it is formally changed and understood by both parties. This stems the flow of corruption, theft, abuse, malfeasance, lowers the risk of failure and keeps both sides of the agreement satisfied.
Trust me when I say this: We don't want to lose your money if we can help it. Neither do we want a dissatisfied client spreading negativities about our brand if it can be avoided. Also, neither should you want to waste time dissatisfying a consultant that, even within a few short days, understands your business model, what you are doing, how you are doing it and even if they don't tell you, knows the acute and problematic details and intricacies of how even you yourself are bringing harm to your company.
Just a few short months back a colleague of mine sent an email to all of the Bahamas-based consultants that he knew, asking them to form a coalition of sorts. Which is a good first step because we don't have a recognizable body that represents our industry in The Bahamas.
I took the opportunity to research some of the names copied in the email and was quite surprised that many of them were under the age of 50, including myself. Their fields of expertise ranged from small business services, to information technology, to legal services and accountancy and international trade and market research. It was a very diverse group of individuals.
While noticing the range of their skills and areas of expertise, it led me to the first notion about the aura of a consultant: There is no one, short-cut consultant and cookie cutter style of doing things.
Some persons have this perception that a consultant is supposed to be all knowing and well versed in all sectors of the universe. Nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, consultants in very many respects know very little of the particular business model utilized by a government, civic organization or company. They may have sector specific expertise, but specific organizational knowledge cannot be ascertained until you actually engage a consultant.
So, disabuse yourself of this perilous notion that a consultant is supposed to solve all of your problems with a flick of a switch. It can't happen. It does not happen. It is not supposed to happen, and you would let yourself down at every turn when you hear of one, see one or watch one operate in your respective workplace.
A second most perilous notion, which almost seems paradoxical to the aforementioned, is that some folks confuse the scope of a consultant.
Sometimes, and this is not just from my experience but colleagues express the same thing to me, consultants have been hired to conduct work in areas not of their initial expertise. For example, a financial consultant with expertise in banking being brought in to help an NGO re-organize their books is quite different from a market research consultant being brought in to negotiate cross-border agreements with your supplier.
The unwritten rule of thumb is that you never tell a potential client no. You have to work with what the market gives you at times. But it can be dangerous as much as it is an enlightening experience to broaden your scope and learn more about what these folks are doing out here these days.
The burden in this case is equally placed on both parties to explain the parameters of what is expected for any particular project, initiative or engagement. But more so the consultant has to have the professional integrity to be up front and honest and say: 'Hey, I see that you need this done, but it really is not my area of expertise; may I refer you to someone else?'
The services sector is also changing rapidly, and some say for the worse when we factor in mass layoffs and low job creation.
The days of going into an office and speaking to your accountant or lawyer are long gone. If you don't catch him or her on the way out of a luncheon or seminar or at the airport, you probably would be wasting your time trying to set up a formal meeting at their offices. So, quite frankly, any and everyone with a college degree that has minimal work experience is a consultant or can be one because he has the time, hunger and reason to take on such a profile.
The same goes for consultants in management and technical fields, especially those that manage several different projects that deserve immediate attention in several different places.
In the case of Kemp Global and our associate sub-contractors, I encourage them to go out and meet the people at their place and at their time. I take my show on the road as well, because I have to and because it gives my firm a personal charm. I will come to you, at your time and your convenience.
It not only makes it easier for us in that we don't have to spend much on accommodations, hence we can save on utility fees, but it also is a chance to go out and see the problems our clients have, right there and right now, without second-hand information and without having x-ray vision through the telephone or getting the "feel" of a conversation with our client at our offices. This is important to us, because we really want to and need to see what it is you are doing.
Thirty or maybe even 20 years ago, one would also have to wait to see a service provider for setting up formal meetings. Nowadays, due to technology and a fast paced world where results oriented practices are the fashion, as opposed to the older days where establishment and name recognition really mattered, if you are not in place to deal with a problem as it arises, it is highly unlikely you will be kept on for any project. So, the more we are out there, the better.
In a nutshell, we have to be out there. Out there with a good name and a hard working spirit to boot. We prefer it that way too!

o Youri Kemp is the president and CEO of Kemp Global, a management consultancy firm based in The Bahamas. This article was published with the permission of Caribbean News Now.

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News Article

December 15, 2014
It's all about perspective

I've often pondered the FACT, that so many people seem to see things in a very different light, so to speak, from each other. I've reflected countless times for example on people's religious beliefs and all of the various spiritual texts available throughout this great big world of ours and the different philosophies put forth by many around the globe. In other words, how come we don't all believe the same things, why is it that our thinking varies so much in so many vital areas of life?
After my reflections, I realized that really in the long run, as today's title puts it 'It's All About Perspective'. Obviously each and every one of us are individuals who hopefully think and act as individuals who think for themselves, not allowing anyone else to do their thinking for them. So you believe one way, your children perhaps believe differently, and so do some of your relatives, friends and associates at work because 'It's All About Perspective'.
But someone said to me one day as I put forth this concept to him, but isn't it all in the end about seeking The Truth? Yes indeed it is; however, once again one's perspective of what constitutes The Truth may vary greatly. But D. Paul, I thought you mentioned in another article, that Truth does not it doesn't for Truth is, as the dictionary puts it "That which is". However, once again each individual's perception of what The Truth is may indeed vary considerably.
For example: In Christopher Columbus's time , the pervading perception was that the world was flat and indeed many thought that as he sailed off to discover the so-called New World he would sail over the edge and be lost forever...that was their perception of The Truth. However, their perception was incorrect as The Truth is that the world is round thus Columbus did discover The New World.
People often question me as to why some people are so very positive and upbeat in nature, whilst others are so negative and pessimistic. Once again it's all about perspective. Of course, the reason one is negative and the other is positive is due to mental conditioning. If one is surrounded by negative people from birth; well then, chances are you'll be negative too. Likewise with positive people.
However, one can change the way they think at any time as everything in life in the long run is a matter of choice. So in a nutshell, what I'm simply stating here today, is that everyone is free to change their perspective at any time they choose to.

Think about it!
Visit my website at:
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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News Article

December 08, 2014
200M biofuel project proposal

Bio Revolution America wants to invest $200 million in a biofuel project in The Bahamas, and the principals of the company could meet with Prime Minister Perry Christie about it as early as Wednesday, Guardian Business has learned.
Should the project succeed, it could mean the creation of a viable biofuel source for The Bahamas and perhaps eventually for export purposes. The agriculture, power generation and processing sectors would all be affected by this project.
The project hinges on the potential synergy between a hardy, oil-producing tree called pongamia, and the abundance of unused arable land in The Bahamas. The investors would work with the agriculture ministry and local farmers to plant pongamia trees on various islands where there is land available, but where normal food crops do not grow well.
Bio Revolution CEO Randall Richards notes that pongamia trees are prolific, easy to grow and have an exceptionally high oil content - 600 to 2,000 gallons per acre per year.
"That makes them an excellent crop for biofuel production and profitable for the farmers. This alone will create a lot of jobs and income for the nation and importantly, the Out Islands," he said, noting that the expectation is that such a project could create up to 1,000 permanent jobs.

The project
The first step would be to identify land and plant the trees.
"Next, we plan to build a major crushing plant to crush the pongamia seeds. We have already built two of these plants in the U.S. and plan six more in the next two years.
"Each crushing plant extracts about 50,000 gallons of oil per day and costs about $9 million dollars to build."
At the same time, Richards said, the company would build a processing plant using ARA/Chevron Global patented biofuel technology.
"We have built several of these in the U.S. and are in negotiations to build the largest one of its kind in the world in Texas. It will process up to 50 million gallons of gas, diesel, and jet A fuel per year. Our plan is to build a plant of similar proportions in The Bahamas, most likely in or near your deepwater port in or near Freeport."
Richards also wants to build a petroleum refinery on the site. Once the oil is processed through the ARA process, it can be refined - just like petroleum - into various things such as gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuels and even into raw crude for making plastics, also like petroleum. He said related business opportunities exist for turning the grease from restaurants and hotels into fuels.
"Finally, there could be a power plant built to do a highly clean burning of the pongamia shells, creating another opportunity for the nation economically," Richards said.
"All this can be built and working within 24 months. We are communicating with Prime Minister Christie about moving forward with this plan... It should bring over $200 million in investment capital, and create over 1,000 permanent jobs, many high paying," he said.
"But more importantly, it can have a dramatically positive impact on The Bahamas national economy, lower gas prices and make the nation eventually oil independent.
The tree
The pongamia typically starts yielding pods from the fifth year on with the yields increasing each year until it stabilizes around the tenth year. The yield per tree can range from about 22 lbs to more than 110 lbs depending on conditions.
Pongamia oil was traditionally used as lamp oil, in leather tanning, soap making, and as a lubricant. More recently, studies have shown some potential for biocidal activity against cholera and E. coli, as well an anti-inflammatory, antinociceptive (reduction in sensitivity to painful stimuli) and antipyretic (reduction in fever) properties. There is also research indicating that the oil can be used as a natural insecticide.
And more recently still - and of particular relevance to The Bahamas - studies have been done to convert pongamia oil into biodiesel.
Bio Revolution has partnered with ARA and Chevron Global, who have worldwide patents on the process to make diesel, gas and jet fuel from plant oil and numerous other things such as restaurant grease. The company has close to $1 billion dollars in projects either under way or in preproduction process in the U.S. and Africa.
"We are also pursuing a similar plan in Africa, but focusing on the restaurant grease, which is a major environmental problem for them," Richards told Guardian Business.
"Our partner there is BNM Technology, which is a major contractor to the South African government and to the power industry there. My good friend and CEO of that company is Bongani Mashwama."
Richards noted that people who wish to get more information, including about possible partnerships, can contact him at

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News Article

October 03, 2010
The Trust Agenda

By Philip C. Galanis

Two and one half years ago, the country was in the thick of a general election campaign. The two behemoths, along with several other marginal variables, were at it again, each vying for political domination, salivating over the spoils that would go to the victor.
The campaign culminated on the night of May 2, 2007 with some spectators shell-shocked by the surprise upset, others bewildered and befuddled as to how this could happen with so many positive developments on the drawing board. Alas, the people had spoken, and as Sir Lynden said on that fateful night of August 19, 1992:"The voice of the people is the voice of God."
The FNM had won the election. They were swept ...

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News Article

December 30, 2014
Gout attacks twice as likely as night

A recent study has proven the long held belief that a gout attack is more likely to occur at night. Dr. Hyon Choi from Boston University School of Medicine published an article online in Arthritis & Rheumatism that shows that persons have a 2.36 greater chance of having a gout attack at night than in the daytime. It is believed that the lowered body temperature and dehydration during sleep may be contributing factors as well as a change in hormone levels.
A gout attack during the holiday can hinder your holiday plans and stop all your fun. Changes in your diet, including overindulging in certain foods and beverages, can trigger gouty attacks this time of year. Gout attacks are extremely painful and come on suddenly, mostly at night. They are caused when uric acid accumulates in the tissues or a joint and crystallizes. This most commonly occurs in the big toe joint.
Uric acid is the result of the breakdown of purines -- chemicals that are found naturally in our bodies and in foods, especially proteins. Some people develop gout because their kidneys have difficulty eliminating normal amounts of uric acid, while others produce too much uric acid. Eating foods that are high in purines also contribute to uric acid build-up and can trigger a gout attack. Uric acid is present in the blood and is eliminated in the urine, but in people who have gout, uric acid accumulates and turns to crystals in the joints. Gout occurs most commonly in the big toe because uric acid is sensitive to temperature changes. At cooler temperatures, uric acid turns into crystals. Since the toe is the part of the body that is farthest from the heart, it's also the coolest part of the body, and thus, the most likely target of gout. Gout, however can affect any joint in the body.
Genetics also play a role in the tendency to accumulate uric acid. Other factors that put a person at risk for developing gout may include high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, surgery, chemotherapy, stress, and certain medications such as diuretics (water pills) and vitamins. While gout is more common in men aged 40 to 60 years, it can occur in younger men as well as in women.
Gout presents with intense pain that comes on suddenly -- often in the middle of the night or getting up in the morning. There may also be other signs of inflammation such as redness, swelling, and warmth over the joint. There may be difficulty walking or standing due to the pain.
To diagnose gout, the podiatrist will ask questions about your personal and family medical history and your diet, followed by an examination of the affected joint. Laboratory tests (uric acid level) and x-rays may also be ordered.
The initial treatment of an attack of gout typically includes:
Medications: Prescription medications or injections are used to treat the pain, swelling, and inflammation; the podiatrist may prescribe an anti-inflammatory and or medications to help lower the uric acid level.
Dietary restrictions: Foods and beverages that are high in purines should be avoided, since purines are converted in the body to uric acid. Persons prone to gouty attacks should avoid purine-rich foods such as shellfish (shrimp, crab, lobster, conch, etc.), organ meats (kidney, liver, etc.), red meat, processed meats and cheese, red wine and beer.
Cherries: Recent studies have shown that people with gout may be able to cut their risk of recurrent attacks in half by eating about one cup or 20 cherries a day. The report states cherries help keep the inflammation in check and may reduce the uric acid levels and inflammation in the body. Researchers credit anthocyanins -- antioxidant pigments found in red and purplish fruits and vegetables, including cherries for the beneficial effect. These antioxidants stabilize unstable molecules called free radicals, which cause inflammation and damage cells and tissue. More studies are being done in this area. Black cherry extract tablets can also be taken if you cannot find fresh cherries.
Fluids: Drink lots of water daily to help flush out the uric acid; avoid alcoholic beverages. Coffee and other caffeinated beverages act as a diuretic, (causes you to urinate a lot) which can cause more dehydration.
Immobilize and elevate the foot: Rest your affected foot by avoiding long standing and walking. Also, elevate your foot (level with or slightly above the heart) to help reduce swelling. Sometimes the podiatrist may put a bandage on the foot to help with the pain and swelling.
The symptoms of gout and the inflammatory process will usually resolve in three to 10 days with treatment. If gout symptoms continue, regardless of your initial home treatment, see a podiatrist. If repeated attacks occur, you may need long-term treatment that will mean daily medications to control the uric acid level. It is important to treat and resolve the gout, because repeated episodes of gout can damage the joint permanently and cause arthritis.

o For more information email us at or visit To see a podiatrist visit Bahamas Foot Centre, Rosetta Street, telephone 325-2996 or visit Bahamas Surgical Associates, Albury Lane, telephone 394-5820 for an appointment.

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News Article

July 05, 2011
Superwash sees 30,000 energy costs hike

Superwash has shelled out a whopping $30,000 more for their utilities during the first five months of 2011 than last year, with its president suggesting a BEC move to hedge would stabilize prices for struggling businesses.
"If the government could figure out how to remove the volatility from the cost of fuel I think it would be extremely beneficial to businesses," Dionisio D'Aguilar told Guardian Business yesterday.  "The best answer would be if you were to hedge your fuel costs."
"If it will bring stability to the cost of energy in this country, I would go for it.  Businesses could then better plan, better budget and better price."
A move like this, argues the former Chamber of Commerce head, is one that would not likely gain favor with the decision makers of the country, given the risky nature of hedging at a higher price.
While hedging reduces the risks associated with the uncertainty of fluctuations in price, it could result in a company paying more, or less for fuel.  Airlines frequently use fuel hedging to manage their costs, but it could be costly and impractical for the average business. The process includes complex contracts that demand up front spending as well as ongoing administrative costs.  As a result, fuel hedging is generally used by large fuel consuming companies to manage price fluctuations by locking in costs through a commodity swap or option contract.
However, the average small to medium sized business suffers the most when crude oil prices increase.  Superwash, for example, has not passed on the increases to its customers, said D'Aguilar, even though his costs for propane and electricity went up by $20,000 and $10,000 respectively.
"We have absorbed the substantial increase in fuel," he added.  "Even if the average price was lower than the hedge price... if I knew for the next two years that my price was x, I could better manage my business and that would be great."
The factors that pose the greatest challenge to getting such a proposal off the ground, however, would be in getting both the government and opposition to agree on the decision.
Still, the idea has had traction in the business community in recent months, following cautions by Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham that higher oil prices could affect businesses this year.
Khaalis Rolle, chief marketing officer of Bahamas Fast Ferries and immediate past president of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation, recently met with a Morgan Stanley commodities expert from New York to explore hedging alternatives for The Bahamas.
Rolle pointed out earlier that in The Bahamas, hedging, especially in the commodities markets, was often considered a sophisticated tool only available to multinational companies.

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The Shining
  • Genre : Drama, Horror, Mystery
  • Rating : TBC - To Be Classified

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where an evil and spiritual presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from the past and of the future....

News Article

January 05, 2015
The cost of corruption

The impact of the revelation that a foreign company bribed a member of the board of the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) over a decade ago goes far beyond bad publicity for our country.
While this matter raises fundamental issues with respect to our nation's reputation and the way we do business, the impact is much greater on the ground.
As BEC customers, we have paid hand over fist, sacrificed to keep the lights on and made hard decisions about whether we could afford luxuries outside of exorbitant power bills for years.
Bahamians have propped up a failing BEC as successive governments have promised belief, but have yet to deliver.
Now we learn that a French company bribed an unnamed "BEC board member" to supply us with what former Minister of Public Works Bradley Roberts has said was a subpar product that drained millions of dollars from the struggling corporation.
On December 22, the U.S. Department of Justice reported that French power company Alstom SA had agreed to pay $772 million to resolve allegations that it bribed high-ranking foreign government officials for lucrative projects.
Federal prosecutors said Alstom falsified its records and paid tens of millions of dollars in bribes for help in obtaining more than $4 billion in projects in countries including Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and The Bahamas.
The revelation comes as horrible news for Bahamian consumers who are pained by the rising cost of living.
It coincides with the rollout of value-added tax (VAT). It reminds us that bad decisions and reported corruption have left us in a dreaded position.
What worries us even more is that we fear the reported bribe taker may get off scot-free, and we will never know the extent of corruption that might have surrounded the deal in question.
We have many examples of promised probes and inquiries that have gone nowhere.
Most recently, promised probes into the National Insurance Board, the Public Hospitals Authority, the Bahamas Telecommunications Company sale, and even the letter of intent signing by former Parliamentary Secretary Renward Wells in July 2014 have all led to one thing: Nothing.
Admittedly, the allegations of corruption in the award of a contract to Alstom SA (also known at the time as ADD) have very serious implications that go beyond our borders.
Thus far, this matter has been driven by outside influences that will be watching how it is dealt with. It is an issue that comes out of the U.S. court and the U.S. authorities know the name of the so-called bribe taker.
Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson has already formally requested information from American officials on the matter.
Prime Minister Perry Christie said the government expects to have answers soon and they will be made available to the public.

While the question on the minds of many people is who was bribed, there are multiple layers to this matter.
Another key question is why did the Cabinet of The Bahamas reject a decision of the board of BEC, headed at the time by J. Barrie Farrington, to award the generator contract in question to the Korean firm Hanjung.
This is not the first time this question has come up, although it is now of greater importance given the bombshell revelation in the plea agreement.
In a communication in the House of Assembly on May 14, 2003, then Minister of Public Works Bradley Roberts said that in October 2002, the board of directors of BEC concluded that based upon the evaluation of its consultants, there was little to separate the two contractors that were selected from the list of bidders, namely Alstom and Hanjung.
According to Roberts, following the request of board members as to the performance of the two contractors in other jurisdictions, the consultants advised that after four utilities were consulted in relation to Hanjung, it was discovered that there were no liquidated damages and the company had a record of good performance with no delays.
As it related to Alstom, it was discovered the "company has a record of unsatisfactory performance; there were liquidated damages and contract delays in Mauritius, Honduras, Peru, Freeport and Nassau."
Roberts told the House at the time: "The board of directors at its meeting held on November 13, 2000, gave its approval for the contract to be awarded to Hanjung.
"Subsequently, at a meeting of the board held on November 29, 2000, the board unanimously reconfirmed its original decision to award the contract for a DA-12 generator to Hanjung.
"At an extraordinary meeting of BEC's board on February 28, 2001, it was noted that subsequent to the meeting, directors and management were summoned to Cabinet at which meeting the selection of Hanjung was discussed.
"As a result of the discussions, and for reasons that were deemed to be in the best interest of the country, it was decided to award the contract to ABB/Alstom."
Roberts added, "Mr. Speaker, I am advised that two senior members of the board resigned as a result of the then administration's refusal to accept the recommendation of the board, which was unanimous that the contract be awarded to Hanjung.
"One of the board members, I'm advised, later reversed his position; the other did not."
It is already in the public domain that Vincent D'Aguilar resigned over the matter.
This is significant.
D'Aguilar was an electrical engineer and a former official at BEC with a clear understanding of matters connected to the award of that contract.
National Review understands that there were others on the board who also contemplated resigning.
This was confirmed by attorney Brian Moree, who was a board member.
"I think there were other members of the board who were considering doing the same thing (resigning)," he said on Friday.
"It was ultimately resolved on the basis that the shareholder of the corporation, which is the government, had the prerogative to make the decision and that is what happened to the best of my recollection."

In 2003, Roberts said in the House, "The Bahamian people need to ascertain by some legal mechanism of inquiry as to the bona-fide reason why a decision was taken to purchase a DA-12 generator from the same supplier, after the turbulent, expensive and poor performance of the DA-11 generator, which caused much suffering for the people of New Providence and Paradise Island."
He added, "...the DA-12 generator is 10 months behind its commissioning date, resulting in additional fuel costs to the Bahamian taxpayers of $14 million."
Roberts said in 2003 he hoped his revelations on the Alstom matter had "finally put to rest the cause and effect of the power outages to date".
While our stomachs should turn at the allegation of a traitor in our midst who corruptly benefited by helping Alstom to swing the deal, we should also be sickened for other reasons.
The true cost of the $300,000 bribe is yet unknown.
Nearly 12 years after he blew the whistle on this matter, Roberts told National Review, "The major thing is not the bribe.
"The major thing is to let the public know how much those two generators caused the Bahamian people in pain and suffering when it (dealing with Alstom) could have been cut off with engine number 11, and gone to another manufacturer to limit the damage as the board had recommended."
To date, there are still questions over why the Cabinet rejected the board's decision.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Frank Watson told The Tribune the bids were sent to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for an evaluation.
He said the bank was satisfied that Alstom should win the bid.
Speaking to National Review yesterday, Watson added, "The IDB evaluated the bid. They were not opposed to the action Cabinet was considering."
But he said it would not be appropriate for him to discuss Cabinet matters.
"It was a Cabinet decision," Watson said.
"If anyone could speak to the decision I would prefer it being the prime minister or the former prime minister."
But the only thing former Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham was prepared to say on the matter when we contacted him was that it should be turned over to police for a full investigation.
Watson noted that the plea agreement did not point to the alleged bribe taker being a member of the Cabinet, but a member of the board of BEC.
Pressed on why the Cabinet rejected the board's recommendation, he said, "I know what happened, but I don't know that I should speak to it.
"I don't think it had anything to do with anyone (in Cabinet) taking anything.
"I don't know anyone in Cabinet would have been involved in any collusion. I didn't see any evidence of it."
While Cabinet ministers are bound by Cabinet secrecy, there is a national imperative for an explanation on this particular issue.
Secret Cabinet papers would likely prove instrumental in piecing together the elements of this particular puzzle.
Watson said the Bahamas government could easily get the name of the person who was allegedly paid off.
Moree admitted that he was "surprised" to learn that a decision was made to reject the unanimous decision of the board.
"I think the important point from the board is to remember that the board fully, I think unanimously, voted in favor of awarding the contract to the South Korean company," he said.
"And then that decision of the board was not implemented and another decision was made. So I think from the point of view of the board, it was a little surprising at the time, but that is my recollection of what occurred."
The fact that the board voted unanimously and that decision was rejected by a higher power leaves confusion over the bribe taker being identified as a member of the BEC board.
Apart from Farrington, D'Aguilar and Moree, other board members were Philip Beneby, Loretta Butler-Turner, Sharon Brown, William McDonald and Wendy Warren.
There is no evidence to suggest that they have been anything but committed and professional in the roles they played.
As the public awaits answers on this whole affair, we also wait a full assessment of the true cost of the Alstom deal.

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News Article

January 05, 2015
Three men shot dead

Three men were shot dead in separate incidents in New Providence over the weekend, police said.
The latest murder took place in Union Village at 12:45 p.m. yesterday, according to Assistant Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson.
He said the victim was sitting in his white Honda when someone in a jeep drove up and stopped near his car.
Three men jumped out the jeep and shot the man, he said.
Ferguson said the man drove off but crashed into a fence were he died.
Ferguson appealed to anyone with information on this killing to call police.
As police moved about the scene, dozens of residents, friends and family members looked on.
Relatives identified the victim as D'Angelo Pinder.
A close friend said he was on his way to pick up lunch from his mother.
Near the police yellow tape, a seven-year-old boy stared at the bullet riddled Honda.
"He's dead," the boy said.
"How do you know that?" asked Khandi Gibson, president of Families of all Murdered Victims (FOAM).
"My mother told me. He's my cousin."
A friend, who said she grew up with Pinder, described him as an honorable young man.
"He never bothered anyone," said the friend who wished not to be identified.
"He has respect for everyone. That hurt my heart this afternoon to see him in that car.
"I was coming from church and I saw the ambulance and said, 'Jesus, who having baby again? Then I saw the car and said, 'Jesus, don't say that's Angelo.
"I nearly fainted. All I can say is that they need to do something. This is getting out of control."
As police marked, photographed and collected dozens of shell casings, Pinder's mother moved about the scene in apparent shock.
Police were also looking for the men responsible for two other killings. One happened on Saturday before 10 p.m., the other on Sunday around 3 a.m.
Police said the incident on Sunday happened after a man got into an argument with another man at a nightclub on Madeira Street.
One of the men left the club and returned with a friend, police said.
Police said the friend pulled out a handgun and shot at the man his friend was arguing with.
The man returned fire, hitting one of the men in the head, chest and stomach, and the other in the leg.
The victim who was shot multiple times died.
Police said the shooter, along with a second man, jumped inside a green Honda CRV, with four women inside, and demanded that they speed off.
The driver sped off but collided with another Honda on Collins Avenue. Police said the two men then ran out the jeep and fled onto McCullough Corner.
The shooter remained at large.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call police.
In relation to Saturday's murder, police said a man was sitting in his Honda Accord at Deliverance Way, off Malcolm Road, when a gunman approached him and shot him several times.
The victim was transported to hospital where he died, according to police.
Police said they were looking for Lathario Sergio Missick, also known as Juvie, in connection with this matter.

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News Article

January 08, 2015
Where have all the progressives gone

Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the flowers gone?
Girls have picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
- Pete Seeger

Six decades ago, the 1950s, was a wonderful time in what was then the British colony of the Bahama Islands. Never mind the distended bellies of malnourished children; forget about extremely limited job opportunities; disregard the extreme imbalance between the very wealthy few and the very poor and undereducated majority.
During the 1950s, young men and women talked about the new world which was emerging following the Second World War. And, what mighty changes there were in this brave new world.
The local British satraps, Royal Governors George Sandford; Robert Neville; Daniel Knox, Earl of Ranfurly; and Raynor Arthur, had, during this period, oversight of the colony representing the British Colonial Office. A rather loose grouping of white men, variously described as the Bay Street Gang or Bay Street Boys, were the political elite of the time committed to maintaining political and economic control among themselves; and, keeping black people out except for the occasional token "colored man".
The colonial rulers generally had a rather low opinion of both sides of the political divide: The Bay Street Boys were not quite "white" enough and were generally conservative reactionaries; the black or "colored" alternatives were, well, black.
This was fertile ground for deeply emotional discussions among an intelligent young community who read voraciously and considered grand concepts of eventual freedom from colonialism and the jackboot of white rule.
Weeks old international newspapers augmented by magazines, radio and motion pictures represented opportunity to discuss some enormous concepts. Local newspapers attracted some wonderful writers and thinkers. Young men and women had returned after exposure to the great debates taking place in universities and pubs in and around London and other large metropolitan cities. In these locations Bahamians interacted with other young people from all over the world. There were two principal concepts, especially in London, at the core of discussions: namely, independence from colonial domination and leftist political thought supplemented by critiques of social justice issues.
Those young people here who did not go away had the opportunity to read and think and many did in order to share with their university compatriots as intellectual equals.
Thus was created the modern progressive.
Our history had been blessed with progressive thought for centuries. This effort was regularly suppressed by white overlords of one sort or another.
There were those revolutionaries opposed to the institution of chattel slavery. Men and women, including Pompey of Exuma, after whom the Museum of Slavery and Emancipation is named, generously sacrificed their lives to fight against slavery in order to free themselves and their kin.
Following the abolition of slavery and throughout the ensuing century and a half of colonialism, the black majority fought to liberate themselves from the vestiges of their ancestor's lives in bondage. We benefited from immigration, mostly young men from the British West Indies, to work as policemen and teachers. Many of these immigrants were in the throes of the same effort. During this colonial period, we also exported young people to other lands where many made meaningful contributions to their adopted communities.
Think back to your memories of the 1950s or to the stories which you heard from parents or grandparents. Remember that Government House was that place on the hill where few 'people of colour' could see themselves ever being invited. Few people, black or white, ever went off to University. Most children finished school at age 14. Church schools along with the Government High School, offered a high school education to the lucky few. Far-sighted parents arranged for private tutoring to augment limited structural school facilities.
The vote had just previously been extended to all men over the age of twenty-one ending a requirement for property ownership as a necessary qualifying element to register as an elector. Women were a decade away from the right to vote.
The 1950s was, without question, a difficult time for the colony's black citizenry. For most, this was a time of distress; but, for the progressive movement, a time to organize and plan. Progressive thinkers came together to create and build, over the months and years, the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP).
Much of the PLP's underlying social philosophy could be traced to a widely read 1891 Papal Encyclical, 'RERUM NOVARUM' (Rights and duties of Capital and Labour), which was written by Pope Leo XIII in response to the structural ill treatment of workers by the European lords of industry. This document confirmed the right to ownership of private property and called for the natural entitlement to fair treatment by workers and for fair wages and conditions. Industry leaders of the time accused the Pope of being a socialist. Progressives here were accused of belonging to the left wing as opposed to those in the government who were generally recognized as being 'right wing' or simply greedy co-conspirators.
So, a cauldron of social justice thought and the reactionary response to it, led to a decade of incredible political events. First up was the 1956 general election, in which the PLP took 33 percent of the popular vote (mostly out of New Providence) and secured just 6 of 29 seats. The political conversation between the party and the people, which had been going on since the party's creation in 1953, continued apace, which annoyed the colonial governor and created fear in the ranks of the Bay Street oligarchy.
The demands of organized labor, combined with public agitation, led to the 1958 General Strike which 'encouraged' the British Colonial Office to take a closer look at political realities in the Bahama Islands. During this period, the Bay Street Boys organized themselves into a political party - the United Bahamian Party (UBP).
The Colonial Office recognized a need for greater representation of the masses in the House of Assembly leading to the creation of four additional seats for New Providence in the House of Assembly in order to begin to address the Bay Street crafted gerrymandering in favor of far fewer voters in islands historically favoring them. Special elections were held in 1960 for the four new seats, all of which the PLP won.
Progressives, women and men, campaigned for the right to the vote for women. They took the case to international organizations concurrent with conducting an aggressive campaign in the colony. The necessary change was made and women voted for the first time in the general elections of November 1962. Most progressive pundits 'knew' that women would vote in their great majority for the PLP. They were shocked when the election was lost. The PLP secured 44 percent of the popular vote; and, the UBP only secured 36 percent with the remaining 20 percent going mostly to independent candidates. Effective gerrymandering resulted in securing the bulk of the seats for the UBP.
Many PLPs were disheartened; but, progressives understood that this was but a setback, unexpected though it was. The discussion with the People continued.
The year 1964 saw the introduction of a new constitution, creating Cabinet government and abolishing the executive council.
In the run-up to the 1967 general election, there were those among progressives who did not expect that the PLP would win but rather position it for a solid run in the next election by achieving a close result. And, close it was. The PLP and the UBP both won 18 of 38 seats as well as almost parity in votes with the PLP besting the UBP by just 71 votes or 44.21 percent vs. 44.05 percent. The Labour Party's Randol Fawkes and Independent Candidate Alvin Braynen were the other two people elected to the 38 member House. Fawkes became a member of Cabinet in the PLP government led by Lynden Pindling. Braynen became Speaker.
So, the people, utilizing the PLP under the philosophical leadership of progressives, freed themselves from the ruling white oligarchy by ushering in Majority Rule in the general election of January 10, 1967, the 48th anniversary of which we celebrate this year.
This is truly a people's holiday and deserves the greatest of event celebrations. Maybe we would have a grand people's celebration for the Golden Anniversary in January 2017.
Fifteen months after the 1967 general election, the next in 1968, saw the PLP win 29 of 38 seats with 72 percent of the popular vote. The once mighty UBP was relegated to just 25 percent of the popular vote.
With this abject showing, the UBP effectively went into destruct mode, eventually going the way of the dinosaurs after a bye-election loss in Central Andros in 1971. The natural home of the white right wing had disintegrated.
In the early 1970s progressives found themselves shared between the PLP and the Free-PLP which morphed into the Free National Movement (FNM). There are those who believe that the FNM continues to be the home of the remnant of the right wing UBP simply because it is opposed to the PLP.
Maybe it is time for progressives to reflect on where they are and what The Bahamas needs. To paraphrase a folk song written in the 1950s: "Where have all the progressives gone?"
The progressive ideal remains; but, the womanpower and manpower seem limited. Those of us who claim the designation must come out of our shells and join together in order to, once again, do our best to ensure that, in all things, the needs of people come before things.
People matter. The economy and the government exist to serve the people and not the other way around. We must do all that's necessary to ensure that this is the truth rather than just a public relations story.
Long live social justice and true freedom for our people.

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News Article

January 07, 2015
Expectancy is the key

I'm continually hearing people say, that they don't expect anything good will happen to them. I read statements on Facebook with amazing regularity that proclaim that in the present economic climate we should not expect to do well. My friend, this type of thinking is an extreme form of negativity and can only result in failure in a person's life. Dr. Denis Waitley in his bestseller "The Psychology of Winning" states quite clearly that we get in life not what we idly hope for, but what we expect, so, there's no doubt about it whatsoever as today's title states it, expectancy is the key to what in the end actually materializes in a person's life. And of course this can bring about positive or negative results for people.
In other words, if you expect something terrible to happen, in all probability it will; for example, many who perhaps focus their thoughts on the fact that a parent or close relative died from cancer. Now because of this, this person starts to get obsessed with thoughts that maybe cancer is in her genes, in her DNA and thus starts to expect that she will likewise get cancer; now in all probability she will. In James Allen's book "As A Man Thinketh" he states in the chapter dealing with "The Effect of Thought on The Health of The Body' the following "Those who live in fear of disease get it".
My friend, that's a very powerful and alas absolutely true statement which we all need to take due note of. This concept that I'm dealing with here today is stated over and over again in many spiritual texts, like for instance in the Bible where it states quite clearly that "As a person thinks so are they". So there's no doubt about it, expectancy is the key to everything in our life.
So my friend, what are you expecting to happen today, this week, this month, this year in all aspects of your life? This really is something worth thinking about, isn't it? You bet it is! At the beginning of each day as you participate in your morning meditation and prayer time you need to cultivate an attitude of positive expectancy for the upcoming day ahead.
Don't listen to the negativity of others, and watch as little news as possible on television as it can have a very negative effect on our overall consciousness, which could indeed result in us starting to expect the worst. So in a nutshell, consistently expect the very best to happen to you, and believe me, you'll get exactly what you expect.

o Think about it!
Visit my website at:
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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News Article

February 04, 2015
Stop wasting emotional energy

My friend, the command issued in the title of this article "Stop Wasting Emotional Energy" is an extremely important one for everyone in my reading audience worldwide to take to heart, as there are far too many people who are in fact wasting far too much emotional energy each and every day which is most detrimental to their wellbeing, and in particular to their overall health of body, mind and spirit. So what exactly do you mean by that statement D. Paul, stop wasting emotional energy, some may query?
Well in a nutshell, stop getting annoyed by really petty matters in the overall scheme of things. Now I'm quite sure that you know the type of people whom I'm referring to here today, the types who are forever getting angry, exploding into temper tantrums when something does not go as planned in any phase of their life. When you are continually getting upset about extremely petty matters, you are in fact hindering your health and blocking your ability to be at peace, which to me is one of the most important goals which everyone should have -- to be and remain at peace 24/7 which will of course be most beneficial from a health perspective.
Yes indeed, I observe a whole lot of very angry people who are minute-by-minute wasting precious emotional energy, and usually as stated before, on really petty matters which have no real significance in the overall scheme of things. As I have written about in the past, calmness is power. Yes indeed it is. So you need to stop wasting emotional energy and do it now.
You know, so often I am very repetitive in these articles because some things need to be explained over and over again so that we get them finally firmly implanted in our consciousness. So, let me once again emphasize the vital importance of daily meditation, which will induce a much-needed peaceful nature. Regular meditation will also be very beneficial in making sure that emotional energy is not wasted, for if it is, it could lead eventually to ill health, believe me. So please meditate each and every day which will assist you in developing a peaceful disposition, which will of course be most beneficial to your whole life and affairs.

o Think about it!
Visit my website at:
Listen to "Time to Think" the radio program on STAR 106.5 FM at 8:55 a.m. & 6:20 p.m.

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News Article

January 19, 2015
FATCA may have unintended consequences

The Bahamas has signed a Model 1B intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the U.S. about the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), and continues to make itself ready for a new global tax transparency regime, but at least one observer has suggested that the FATCA regime may have what he called "unintended consequences for financial systems."
FATCA was enacted in 2010 to target non-compliance by U.S. taxpayers using foreign accounts.
The law requires banks outside the U.S. to provide information to its Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on any customer deemed a "U.S. person" if they have an account with more than US$50,000. It aims to crack down on tax dodgers who hide hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars in offshore accounts annually in an effort to avoid paying Washington its due, and on the penalty side, FATCA requires U.S. financial institutions to withhold 30 percent of certain payments made to foreign financial institutions that do not agree to identify and report information on U.S. account holders.
While The Bahamas and other countries in the region have indeed signed IGAs with the U.S. to "comply" with FATCA, as recently as April 2014 the region - through the forum of the Third Caribbean Conference on the International Financial Services Sector in Nassau - expressed concerns that the U.S. was not playing fair in the FATCA negotiations.
Now that the law has had time to build momentum, a number of observers are identifying unintended consequences.
Peter Guy, a former international banker who writes for the South China Morning Post, wrote recently that many financial institutions are still completely confused and unable to comply with the FATCA regime. Guy wrote that while the law sounds like another innocuous tax regulation, "it represents the most ambitious tax and personal data collection strategy in financial history."
According to him, FATCA will embolden and encourage "global intrusions by US government agencies...More people will be driven underground to seek shadow banking services."
"FATCA is controversial because it dramatically shifts the burden of disclosure from the American person to their banks," Guy pointed out. "Foreign financial institutions are now more than just tax bounty hunters for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS), but pawns in an historical power play for control over the global financial system."
Guy said the unintended effects of FATCA are already evident, especially in Asia where so-called shadow banking is - in his words - "a growth industry."
For instance, he said an American gambler had described to him how he stashes his poker earnings at a Macau casino to avoid FATCA's reach into banks. And Guy reported on a scheme in which clients deposit their yuan (Chinese currency) in a specific onshore, mainland bank account and, for a 22 percent commission, the service will exchange and deliver the US dollar equivalent of physical cash in a suitcase anywhere in Vancouver or New York.
"American residents in Asia seeking to hide assets only have to find a strictly local Asian bank with no links to the U.S. banking system," Guy said.
Guy argued that FATCA extends U.S. taxing authority far beyond legally requiring expatriate Americans to file accurate tax returns.
He cited Dan Mitchell, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, who said FATCA is expected to yield only US$870 million a year.
"This is a miniscule amount compared to the amounts being spent to implement this law, by the US government and up to 100,000 other institutions who didn't ask to be part of this."
Guy's point here resonates with the findings of a global survey conducted by Democrats Abroad (DA), the overseas arm of the Democratic Party. That study highlighted growing concerns about taxation and financial reporting facing Americans living outside the U.S., and in particular the consequences of FATCA.
The organization confirmed that it had been working to alleviate the "unintended consequences of FATCA." While noting that the Act "was enacted to stop Americans living in the US from hiding money from the taxman in overseas accounts," DA said "it has meant that one in six citizens who responded to the survey have had their financial accounts closed because their foreign FIs did not want to incur the cost of annual reporting on American customers' accounts to the US Internal Revenue Service."
The group argued that its study - the results of which were released in September 2014 - showed the "intense impact FATCA is having on overseas Americans."
"Their financial accounts are being closed, their relationships with their non-American spouses are under strain (21 percent reporting that they either no longer have joint accounts or are thinking of moving to separate accounts), some Americans are being denied promotion or partnership in business because of FATCA reporting requirements, and some are planning or contemplating renouncing their U.S. citizenship," DA said.
The latest survey was carried out in June and July 2014 to examine experiences related to FATCA. There were 6,552 responses from Americans hailing from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, who are now living outside the US in locations across six continents.
Chair of DA's FATCA Task Force, Carmelan Polce (Democrats Abroad in Singapore), said the results of the survey show that Americans, no matter where they live, support policies that fight tax evasion. At its meetings in Washington, DA stressed that it has always insisted that "most Americans living abroad are ordinary citizens living middle class lives after moving abroad for employment, a relationship or retirement, and are not the intended target of the FATCA legislation."
Kathryn Solon (Democrats Abroad in Germany), DA's international chair, said, "We believe that the unintended consequences of FATCA raised by this survey - an unfair burden for Americans abroad - can be relieved without undermining the enforcement power of the law."
And The Economist, a highly respected financial publication, suggested in a recent article on the law that while going after tax dodgers is understandable, FATCA is overkill, "a piece of extraterritoriality stunning even by Washington's standards."
As others have noted, the costs of complying with FATCA are likely to dwarf the extra revenue it raises. In addition, another "unfortunate" unintended consequence cited by Economist is the reaction to Americans living abroad, many of whom have been rejected by foreign providers of banking services, insurance and mortgages because, given the amount of paperwork needed to satisfy "Uncle Sam," American clients are simply too much hassle.
Even more, American citizens are not the only victims, The Economist says. The law's definition of a "U.S. person" includes green-card holders and "anyone with a substantial connection to the country."
"Meanwhile, the drug dealers and sophisticated tax evaders who inspired all this will switch into non-financial assets, such as art and property, or hide behind shell companies and trusts," the magazine posited. "The latter would be easier to penetrate if reliable ownership information were collected, but often it is not - and America is one of the worst laggards (see Delaware, Nevada and all the other money-laundering paradises within its borders)."
And another question raised by the FATCA implementation is the "intrusiveness" of the law, which raises serious privacy issues.

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