This news synopsis will be more brief than usual for a couple weeks due to a short period of time constraint.


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WEEKLY WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR BELIZE
Valid: Sunday, July 1 until Monday, July 9, 2012

The features of interest this coming week will be the approach and passage of two tropical waves. The first will reach Belize later Tuesday and early Wednesday. The second and much more active tropical wave will show its presence late Saturday through Sunday. The approach and passage of this system will force a northward shift in the Inter tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) over northern Central America and an influx of moisture from the Pacific. Also, the TW wave will traverse northern Central America ahead of a surge in the low level easterlies, which will also favor intense thunderstorm outbreaks

Conditions will become favorable for outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms on Monday and Tuesday as a weak tropical wave traverses the NW Caribbean and cross Belize Tuesday night or early Wednesday. Moisture and instability will be on the increase as we move into the weekend with the approach and passage of another more active tropical wave later on Saturday and Sunday morning. Coupled with this second tropical wave will be an influx on moisture from the Pacific, as the ITCZ shifts northwards over Central America and the leading edge of a surge in the easterlies over the Caribbean reach the extreme NW Caribbean region.

Daytime heating and the passage of the tropical waves will induce outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms over Belize and coastal waters during most of this working, and will increase over the weekend. Model projections suggest that the bulk of the rainfall will be concentrated over the central and northern coastal regions at first, but will become more widespread later on Friday through Sunday.

Daily rainfall accumulations will range from 0.25-1.00 inch on Sunday through Wednesday, especially over the coast and northern areas. Expect higher rainfall amounts in the hilly terrain of the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts, and NE Cayo District. Daily rainfall totals on Thursday through Monday of next week will be ranging from 0.75-2.00 inches, especially along the coast and in the Hills.

Folks in low lying areas should remain vigilant this week and be prepared to move to higher grounds if necessary particularly on Sunday and Monday of next week!

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Belize government presents tax-free budget
Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow Friday presented a BZ$937.9 million (US$493.3 million) tax free budget to Parliament, telling legislators that despite the ongoing global financial and economic crisis the local economy has performed well. Barrow said the draft estimates included BZ$819.4 million (US$431.08 million) in recurrent revenue, while total expenditure for the next fiscal year which started on April 1, 2012 is estimated at BZ$937.9, with a budget deficit ofBZ$75.2 million(US$39.5 million), up from BZ$69 million (US$36.2 million) last year. In his budget, titled Exercising discipline while preserving growth, Barrow said Belize had been able to maintain an average annual economic growth in excess of two per cent since 2008. We have sustained primary surpluses on the Government's accounts of over two per cent. This when G7 rich countries have averaged primary deficits of more than seven per cent, said Barrow. He said that the provisions for amortization payments increased slightly to BZ$64.6 million (US$33.9 million) which, when combined with the projected deficit of BZ$75.2 million (US$39.5 million), puts governments overall financing requirement at BZE$139.8 million (US$73.5 million). Barrow said that while there will be serious challenges on the horizon for Belize, compounded by the burdensome debt repayment commitments brought on by the countrys BZ$1.1 billion (US$526 million) superbond, which is an amalgamation of all of the countrys foreign debts, he was confident of navigating the ship of state. He said there were several factors that made it impossible for us to repay on the terms and conditions contracted by those that got us into this mess, referring to the Peoples United Party (PUP) administration of 1998-2008 under the leadership of former prime minister Said Musa. A debt-restructuring team, headed by former interim leader of the PUP Mark Espat, and including the Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, has begun meeting with Belizes bondholders to try and get a more favourable repayment terms for the superbond.

Primary School Examination (PSE) – A Closer Look
Submitted by: Golda Swift (M. Ed) Every year students countrywide prepare to sit Belize’s Primary School Examination (PSE). This exam focuses on four main subjects: Math, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. With high levels of energy and expectations; parents, teachers, and children anticipate the PSE and prepare throughout the up-coming months prior to the dates set. Some schools however, like Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning, have embarked on preparing their students from pre-school, so as to get them fully prepared. Most schools however, have stressed standards five and six respectively; to prepare students with the materials that will be given on this exam. It must however, be noted that the preparation for this PSE is a collaborative work of all teachers within that particular school and preparations should start from the lower levels within that institution. PSE has become of single importance as some schools wait for the results and thereby accept their students based on the grade they have made. Therefore; getting a passing grade of above 50 % is of utmost importance. Principals of some schools have placed all the responsibility of student’s performance on teachers teaching standards five and six. This needs to be assessed and redirected to all teachers having direct or indirect impact on the teaching and motivation of children within their schools.