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Bahamas - The Bahamian Icon Awards organizing committee, sponsors and
partners Is proud to announce its 2013 Nominees. The public was asked
to submit persons they wished to be considered for nomination through
our website at BahamianIconAwards.com.
Over 150 candidates were received from across the country.
Bahamian Icon Awards Organizing Committee selected Nominees in the following categories: Fine Arts; Entertainment; Education; Journalism; Sports; Tourism; Finance; Entrepreneurship; Humanitarianism; and Commerce...
Another National Insurance Board (NIB) executive has been axed by the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) government. According to the June 5 edition of The Nassau Guardian, Vice President of Human Resources at NIB Richenda King was terminated on May 31.
The PLP-stacked NIB board made the decision on the day before her termination. King, according to The Guardian, was among seven or so NIB executives who pocketed over $700,000 in bonuses between January 1, 2010 and May 2012. So far it appears as if only a few Bahamians are sympathetic towards King and the other NIB executives.
In all likelihood, this is due to the revelation of the massive bonus payments that they received.
King was formally advised of the board's decision to terminate her services on May 31, which was a Friday.
However, The Guardian pointed out that she had already known of the impending dismissal before she was given her pink slip, thanks to bahamaspress.com. Hence, the board was preempted by the website.
This was the same website that published confidential information on fired NIB Director Algernon Cargill in December of 2012.
Judging from the contents of the articles on Cargill on bahamaspress.com, it is obvious to me that a whistleblower in the government is leaking confidential information to the website. At times, one is led to believe that bahamaspress.com has replaced Bahamas Information Services as the official news agency of the government of The Bahamas.
I am not writing to defend King or any of the other members of the executive board who received the hefty bonus payments. Whether it was right or wrong to fire her is not the focus of this letter. And whether it was right or wrong for the NIB executives to receive bonuses is another matter for another day.
That said, I think it was unprofessional and inhumane to leak information of King's dismissal to bahamaspress.com before she was given her pink slip. There are certainly right and wrong ways to go about letting someone go. And the way King was fired was the wrong way.
Can you imagine going on a website to read the news and finding a story about you being fired?
Christie needs to find out who is preempting his administration by leaking information to the aforementioned website and admonish the person or people to desist from their whistleblowing activities.
The National Security Agency’s monitoring of Americans includes customer records from the three major phone networks as well as emails and Web searches, and the agency also has cataloged credit-card transactions, said people familiar with the agency’s activities.
The disclosure this week of an order by a secret U.S. court for Verizon Communications Inc.’s phone records set off the latest public discussion of the program. But people familiar with the NSA’s operations said the initiative also encompasses phone-call data from AT&T Inc. and Sprint Nextel Corp., records from Internet-service providers and purchase information from credit-card providers.
Cat Island (Bahamas), rake-n-scrape capital of the world will be hosting its
15th Annual Cat Island Rake-N-Scrape Festival from June 6th-8th, 2013 in Arthur's Town, Cat Island.
festival will include contemporary and traditional Rake-N-Scrape
artists and traditional dance. There will be a Battle of the Bands
featuring live performances from top Cat Island bands like the Lassie
Doh Boys, Ophie and The Websites, BoHog and The Rooters. Ira Storr and
the Spank Band will be the house band along with KB, Wilford Solomon,
Colyn McDonald, Jitana, Lady Show and Veronica Bishop.
Sea Breeze MP Carl Bethel and Fox Hill MP Fred Mitchell clashed in the House of Assembly yesterday over Mitchell's decision to sue a public servant who allegedly accused him of being complicit in wrongdoing while he was minister of foreign affairs.
The argument began after Bethel questioned why Mitchell sued Dorothea Lafleur, an official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Consular Division, for allegedly telling an American diplomat back in 2007 that the former minister 'pressured' staff at the ministry to issue visas to 'ineligible' Chinese applicants.
The allegations were contained in a secret U.S. Embassy cable that was published by whistleblower website WikiLeaks and tabled in the Senate by Labour Minister Dion Foulkes a few weeks ago.
Bethel said it was curious that Mitchell did not sue him for making similar allegations back in 2007.
"It is interesting that the member for Fox Hill has made a public show of having sued a public servant in respect to comments that public servant may have made or may not have made," said Bethel as he contributed to debate on the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill.
"That's for the courts and I don't take from him the right to do that, but I do know one thing, everything the public servant said I was all over this country saying for months. I had the documents, everything she said, but I didn't get sued.
"It is amazing that you can sue a public servant but don't sue the person who broke the news. Chinese visas, politicians involved, the applicants were unqualified and the question of whether there was political interference, those were hot issues around this town. No one got sued for them but the public servant now gets sued?"
Bethel said he raised the point of Mitchell's lawsuit because a clause in the FOI Bill protects whistleblowers from legal action, if the information they provide is deemed libelous.
Mitchell said in the House
of Assembly he was surprised that Bethel raised the issue since the matter is currently before the courts.
He added that Bethel knew that he denied the accusations when they were first raised in 2007 and said the charges were deemed baseless by a subsequent police investigation.
"The member is well aware that [matter] was dealt with politically at the time, the matter was investigated by the police at the time, two reports were filed, and the member fell silent," Mitchell
However, Bethel shot back: "I only saw the police report generated as a result of the complaints that I was making when I read it on a website.
"The police never had the courtesy to send a copy to me. I was shocked when I read the document on the website and I could never understand...how a complaint about the political interference on the issuance of visas to unqualified Chinese became an investigation into officials giving visas to Haitians."
At this point Mitchell jumped to his feet.
"No sir. No sir. No sir," Mitchell shouted, as he pointed a finger in Bethel's direction. "Not in here today."
"You raised it," Bethel answered.
Both men remained on their feet shouting at each other until Speaker of the House Alvin Smith quieted them.
In February, Mitchell filed a lawsuit against Lafleur. In a police report filed as supporting documentation for the lawsuit, police found evidence of an alleged cash for visa scam with Haitians.
Lafleur and another person were identified as the facilitators of this alleged scheme, according to the police report.
Sexual harassment, taken literally, is harassment or unwanted attention of a sexual nature. It includes a range of behavior from mild annoyances to serious abuse, which can even involve forced sexual activity. Sexual harassment is considered to be illegal in many countries and is a form of abuse. It is also considered to be a form of bullying.
Jerry was the new office worker. He worked in the sales department. He was married with two children. His employer introduced him to all the employees and showed him where his desk was and allowed him to get to work. After two months of working on the job, Jerry went to his immediate supervisor to report to that two of his co-workers were making him uncomfortable on the job. The supervisor, a man named Bill, asked Jerry what he was talking about. Jerry explained how both a male and female employee would constantly pass his desk and touch his hair when they were saying good morning. Jerry had asked both of them to stop, but they continued to do it. Bill after hearing Jerry's story told him that they were just being friendly and to ignore it.
Sexual harassment can occur in any environment. Sexual harassment does not only occur in the workplace but also happens at social gatherings, in public areas such as at bus stops, in the street and in clubs, in schools and colleges. Sexual harassment happens to men as well as women.
The offense occurs when a person assaults another in a manner which grossly offends public morality -- e.g. touching breasts or other parts of the body, unwelcome kissing, etc. Actual touching may not be involved. Rude or suggestive language can also be considered sexual harassment.
Sexual harassment in the work place happens to men as well as women. It is a criminal offense for an employer to seek any form of sexual favor as a condition for hiring a person. It is also an offense to threaten dismissal if the sexual favor is not granted. The law works both ways - it is an offense to offer sexual inducement in return for benefit at work. Sexual harassment also occurs in schools and colleges.
Everyone has a right to feel safe and comfortable in the workplace, at school or in whatever environment they are.
Who is the harasser?
o The harasser can be anyone -- boss, supervisor, client, co-worker, teacher, student, friend or stranger.
o The victim can be male or female. The harasser can be male or female (The harasser does not have to be of the opposite sex).
o The harasser may be completely unaware that his or her behavior is offensive or constitutes sexual harassment or that his or her actions could be illegal.
How sexual harassment affects the victim
Psychological and health effects that can occur in someone who has been sexually harassed include anxiety and/or depression, sleeplessness, shame and guilt, difficulty concentrating, headaches, lack of motivation, lack of appetite or comfort eating (weight loss or gain), feeling let down or violated, feeling angry or violent towards the perpetrator, feeling powerless or out of control, loss of confidence and self-esteem, withdrawal and loss of trust in people and colleagues and even suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts.
Why people do not report sexual harassment
Many incidents of sexual harassment occur in the workplace and some victims are afraid they will lose their jobs if they report the matter. They also feel that others might place the blame on them if they make a report, or that they will be accused of coming on to the perpetrator. They may also feel that nothing will be done about the harassment.
If it is a friend of the family or relative, there may be a fear that the victim will not be believed.
Many times because behaviors that are practiced or accepted as social behavior, individuals may not always understand that their behavior is offensive and a form of sexual harassment.
Examples of sexual harassment
o Spreading sexual rumors.
o Repeatedly asking out someone who has said no.
o Questioning or commenting on someone's sexuality.
o Telling sexually offensive jokes.
o Displaying sexual pictures.
o Making comments about someone's clothing or body.
o Making rude gestures or noises.
o Touching or rubbing against a person;
o Pressuring someone for a date.
o Giving suggestive looks.
Anyone experiencing sexual harassment can:
o Firmly tell the harasser that the behavior is not acceptable.
o Report the incident to someone in authority.
o Report the matter to the police.
Remember, sexual harassment is not acceptable and you should not have to endure unwanted advances from anyone.
We are one people created equal by God and for the purpose of loving and being loved. Let us work together to heal ourselves, families, communities, nation and world.
o If you would like to talk to someone about sexual harassment, please call 328-0922 or for more information, check out our website at www.bahamascrisiscentre.org.
THIS picture revealed on a social media website apparently showing a man's whipped back is authentic and was submitted to the government as evidence of Cuban detainee abuse, The Tribune understands.
The disruptive student, the class clown, the daydreamer, the child who hates school. Every classroom has some of these personalities.
They are often branded as lazy, stupid or just uninterested in learning and criticized by parents and teachers for their under-performance or classroom antics.
Bad behavior and poor performance in school, however, are often signs of bigger developmental issues, according to Dr. Michelle Major, clinical director of the Caribbean Center for Child Development.
"Usually behavioral difficulties are a result of a learning disability," said Major, a licensed school psychologist.
"So if you're frustrated in school, have difficulty keeping up, you have a reading and writing problem or math delays, you will have behavioral problems because kids, if they can't do the work, they will have a tendency to act out."
Teachers or parents who suspect that a child has a learning disability should first assess developmental milestones to ensure they are within the normal range before turning to evaluation.
"There should always be the attempt of intervention," Major said.
"Before you jump to an evaluation, try things you know might work. First evaluate their grade history and try implementing a reward system in the class.
"If you're looking at a child who is struggling academically or not responding to a behavioral modification plan, then refer them for an evaluation. It becomes very gray at certain times to see if they have a behavioral problem because of a learning disorder, or a behavioral-rooted issue that is affecting their learning."
Children who are born prematurely or exhibit early signs of reading and speech delays are at risk for developing learning disorders, Major said.
Heavy alcohol consumption or drug use by the child's father at the time of conception and stress during pregnancy also contribute to the risk, she said.
Although there aren't any figures to document learning disorder rates in The Bahamas, Major said anecdotal evidence suggests that the figures are high.
Major said the key to helping children overcome these disorders is acceptance, early diagnosis and treatment.
"We have a stigma on individuals who may have disorders or different learning [patterns]. We tend to undervalue intervention, education and the need for children to be in remedial programs," she said.
"We need to focus on early intervention."
Richard Brown, 25, whose name has been changed, was diagnosed with dyslexia and a processing disorder while attending university in England. He struggled in high school, particularly with writing and comprehension tasks, and often felt frustrated that he could not grasp his schoolwork as easily as some of his peers.
His struggles made him act out and he was often disruptive in class because he couldn't focus on the material. He said an earlier diagnosis would have made school much easier.
"I could never understand why I was making simple mistakes in writing and spelling things incorrectly. In high school, I was a distracted kid. I could speak very well but it didn't translate into my writing," said Brown.
"Classes were a struggle, paying attention was a struggle. I could have achieved a lot more if I wasn't constantly told that I wasn't using my potential and that I was disruptive in class - but I was disruptive because I couldn't get it."
Brown said that once his disorder was recognized and he was given the proper tools and equipment, learning was easier. He used a dictation program on his computer when writing college essays and found that highlighting his class notes helped him to absorb the material easier.
Signs to watch for
For parents who are concerned that their child's bad behavior may be linked to a learning disorder, the U.S.-based National Center for Learning Disabilities has several red flags to look out for.
"Poor grades, physical complaints and school absences are clear warning signs (and calls for help) for students with LD," the center says on its website.
"Unfortunately, these students will often resort to getting into trouble, resulting in their being removed from class or even suspended from school. This shifts the focus of attention away from their struggle with academic learning and instead points to some social or behavioral reason for their being singled out."
The NCLD said that parents should pay attention to students who blame their teachers for their poor performance, complain that school is boring, too hard or too easy, or avoid talking about issues at school.