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The San Pedro Sun

Turtle found covered with crude oil at Hol Chan Marine Reserve
A turtle completely covered in crude oil was found floating in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve off Ambergris Caye. The juvenile Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) was found by a group of divers on Tuesday July 24th along the channel at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The divers rescued the animal and turned it over to park rangers in the area. According to Hol Chan Marine Reserve Manager Miguel Alamilla, the green turtle was found sometime around 3PM on Tuesday. “The turtle was immediately transferred to our office where we began caring for it,” said Alamilla. The green turtle, with carapace/back measuring 11 inches long and suspected to be between two to three years old, was observed entirely covered with thick black crude oil and inside the turtle’s mouth was also filled with oil. The turtle was observed to be very fatigued and was unable to move “We removed all of the crude oil from its outer body and as much of the oil from within the turtle’s mouth. We do strongly believe that the turtle may have ingested some of the thick oil. We know that turtles are strong and tolerant and we are hoping that the turtle makes a full recovery” said Alamilla. The turtle is under close observation as cooking oil has been given to the turtle orally in an attempt to help the animal pass any crude oil it may have swallowed. While the turtle is weak, Alamilla says that the condition seems better than when it was brought in. If the heath of turtle deteriorates, an IV drip will be applied.

Abandoned black jaguar rescued and on the way to recovery thanks to help from The Belize Zoo and other Environmental Organizations
The sad story of Bosch, the emaciated black jaguar that had been found starving and left abandoned at the Ballum Na Lodge in Punta Gorda has taken a happy turn after the heroic and caring efforts of a coalition of environmental organizations that came to his rescue and are now helping him to recuperate. Hearts were saddened and angered when word came out of the jaguar that had been left for dead in a cage after irrational and possibly illegal circumstances led to those who were responsible for his care abandoning him without concern for his wellbeing or safety. It was only after Wil Maheia, a member of the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network, alerted everyone to the jaguar’s plight that Bosch’s condition became known. Immediately, a coordinated and dedicated team consisting of the Belize Zoo, the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network, and the Belize Forest Department came together to provide food, vitamins and supplements to prevent further deterioration in Bosch’s condition and help to keep him alive until a proper veterinary assessment could be conducted. On July 20th, rangers and volunteers from the Belize Zoo and the Forest Department successfully rescued Bosch and transferred him to his new home and the Zoo. Bosch, who has been fondly renamed ‘Lucky Boy’ is now living comfortably at the Belize Zoo under the cautious and attentive hands of qualified and caring professionals who are slowly nursing him back to full health and providing the necessary love and attention he deserves. On the Belize Zoo’s Facebook Page they’ve commented that “Lucky Boy’s eating like a champ, and interacting enthusiastically with his caregivers. A surprisingly calm and easy going jaguar, a special diet and tender love and care are all he wanted. He’s definitely on his way back to being healthy and beautiful once more.” Lucky Boy is believed to be about 11 – 12 years old and according to the Zoo originated from Xcaret Zoo in Mexico. The Zoo keepers say that although it will take a number of months for Lucky Boy a.k.a. Bosch to make a full recovery and come back to full health they do believe that he will certainly return to his full majesty and beauty over time.

“Hopkins Day” Celebrated This Weekend
The intense beating of drums followed by singing and dancing will welcome you as you enter the sleepy fishing village of Hopkins. Hopkins Day is this weekend and everyone is invited this Friday to Sunday, July 27th – 29th 2012. “Hopkins Day” celebrates the existence of one of Belize’s villages known for its Garifuna culture and golden beaches. Reva Dark of BTIA Hopkins shared, “2012 marks the 71st year of the arrival of the Garifuna to Hopkins, and Hopkins Day has been celebrated since 1990.” It is a festival that grows every year. “Aside from locals, more and more Belizeans from the Diaspora come home to join in the festivities.” The celebrations will kick off with opening ceremonies on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. at the village’s basketball court. The night will showcase various cultural activities, and there will be plenty to eat and drink. On Saturday, July 28th, experience the “Battle of the Drums”, along with a number of entertaining games like dancing and eating contests. The night will come alive with a “Punta Fest” that ensures to have everyone dancing the night away. Bands from all over the country are expected to participate. On Sunday, the village will host a family day where everyone can relax and just enjoy being with their families. 2012 marks the 12th year Hopkins Day has been celebrated. Everyone is invited to join in the celebrations and one of Belize’s growing tourist destinations. For more information on the Hopkins Day, contact Reva Dark of BTIA Hopkins at revadark@gmail.com.

Misc Belizean Sources

A Full House of Queens Party Saga 2012 Fundraiser @ Casino
"A Full House of Queens" Casino Night Cocktail Party Event @ Captain's Casino, featuring the Beauty Pageant Contestants for Reina de la Costa Maya as special guests. The Event is happening Monday, July 30 from 6 to 10PM.

Miss World 2012 Opening Ceremony - All Contestants
Chantae Guy is representing Belize at the Miss World pageant in China. Good luck, Chantae! "The delegates in evening wear during the Miss World Opening Ceremony held yesterday. Chantae can be seen at 01:29." You can like her FB page: http://www.facebook.com/MissWorldBelize

The Flavors of Belize Cookbook Giveaway
One of the food photographers that helped with The Flavors of Belize has a great article on the process, along with a couple of cool videos. There's even a recipe for a hot pepper and onion salsa. If you leave a comment, you might win a copy of the cookbook. "There’s so many wonderful recipes to dive into within the book’s pages, and if you’ve never experienced Belizean food then you’re in for a treat. It’s a fantastic blend of distinct cultures, sometimes moving in one direction before coming back to another. It’s Mayan, it’s Carribeean, It’s Asian, it’s Creole, and it’s all delicious. In fact, several recipes from the book have become standards at our house."

13 Baktun Performance from BFF
Cayo was represented at the Belize Film Festival opening ceremony. Orquidea Negra was there, as were many others. The Benque House of Culture has uploaded quite a few pictures from the 13th Baktun performance. "NO wonder why we are known as The West is the Best!! Espectacular and extraordinary presentation from Benque HOC's very own artisits, Orquidea Negra Dance Company, Luna Maya Studio and no other than Mr. Pablo Collado, Simply Magnificent!! But images speak better than words! Congratulations to all mebers that represented our culture, Benque HOC applaud their great efforts, specially to Director Mr. Mike Maurico, and thank you for sharing your talent."

Marlon Williams Representing Belize at Go4BioDiv
Congratulations to Marlon Williams, who will represent Belize at the Go4BioDiv, which will take place in India this October. And congratulations again to PACT on their 16th birthday. PACT has a great write up about the upcoming event. "Go4BioDiv is an International Youth Forum which gives young adults the opportunity to express their opinions about biodiversity conservation, to exchange with other young experts from all over the world, to learn about marine conservation and protected areas management and to engage with decision-makers and the wider public at CBD-COP. The theme of Go4BioDiv International Youth Forum 2012 will be ‘Conserving coastal and marine biodiversity for sustaining life and livelihoods’. This year, 35 youth messengers will participate from the different crown jewels of marine conservation: Marine and Coastal World Heritage Sites around the world, including the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage Site (BBRRS-WHS)."

Noema Manzanero is Cayo's Teacher of the Year
Congratulations to Noema Manzanero for being Cayo's Teacher of the Year! Thank you for doing such an amazing job, and always being there for the Bullet Tree Mission Youth Association. Bullet Tree Falls, and Cayo, are proud. "Congratulations to NOEMA MANZANERO of Bullet Tree Falls village. She has won the Courts giveaway for Teachers, an impressive $7,000 in prizes, including furniture. You are Teacher of the year for Cayo! And we salute you NOEMA ELYDE MANZANERO."

Captain Kevin and his snorkelers save turtle in Hol Chan!!
Yes, can you believe it but yesterday at Hol Chan, Captain Kevin and a group of G Adventure snorkelers found a turtle covered in oil and saved its life!! The group were out snorkeling in the Channel with Captain Kevin being their guide, when they came upon the motionless turtle. The turtle initially looked dead and covered in black oil that surrounded it but when they lifted out of the water and away from the oil the turtle looked to try and gasp for air. Kevin removed the excess oil from its mouth and quickly summoned the attention of the Marine Park Rangers who quickly took the injured turtle back to San Pedro to be treated!! Initially all concerned, including Rangers felt that the turtle had traveled some miles with the oil as this had been an isolated incident that day and there were no reported oil spills around San Pedro that day. However, the day was far from over!!

WOMEN'S SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS IN CAYO
Four teams are in the hunt for the championship in Women's Softball in Cayo. The playoffs began on Sunday, July 22nd. at the Denbigh Fuller Stadium in Camalote village. The teams taking part in the playoffs are: Camalote United, UB Black Jaguars, Ontario Rebels and Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy. The championships continue this weekend at the Joan Garbutt Stadium is Esperanza village and will be broadcast live on Central Cable Vision.

Channel 7

Outspoken Cops Face Disciplinary Tribunal
This afternoon at 1:00, the leaders of the Police Association, Corporal Eldon Arzu, and Detective Sergeant Edlin Lorenzo were both arraigned before a police tribunal at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan. They were very vocal against the Police High Command last week about the rush transfers. According to the Ministry of National Security, both members were warned many times that it was unlawful for them to go to the press with their grievances. Well, the Commissioner of Police and the ranking officers brought them up on disciplinary charges. Arzu was charged with being disrespectful to a superior officer, while Lorenzo was charged willfully disobeying a lawful command. Reliable information to our newsroom is that the complainant is Superintendent Linden Flowers, the officer commanding the training academy. The reasoning behind the charge against Lorenzo is reportedly that he was sent a text message on Monday, which indicated that he was to be in Belmopan along with other members of the Association to have a meeting with Commissioner of Police. This was apparently the time when the Commissioner was to tell them in person that all the privileges that they enjoyed as the Association - which included an office space - would be taken away. That office space was officially taken away from them at the tribunal today.

COLA "Burns Fire" On OAS
The Organization of American States has its headquarters in Washington DC, but, even all the way there, we expect that they've been hearing the howls of public protest coming out of Belize about the press release the OAS issued last week Friday. As we've reported, that press release, about the shooting death of Guatemalan Luis Alberto Ramirez who was logging in the Colombia Forest Reserve - said that the incident occurred within the Adjacency Zone - which is inaccurate; it happened 3.2 kilometers inside Belizean territory - the Adjacency Zone extends only one kilometer inside Belizean territory. That statement also quoted the OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza describing the shooting as reprehensible - which - considering the circumstances - has also been characterized as objectionable language. So, in short, public opinion of the OAS right now is not favorable, and today COLA, the Citizens Organized for Liberation Through Action staged a small but symbolic protest to crystallize the negative public opinion - and then added a little something more to it. We were there on Blue Marlin Drive in Belize City - and here's what happened.

Head On Collision Between Heavy Equipment Leaves 4 Injured
Four farm workers from the Cayo District remain hospitalized tonight after a dramatic traffic accident this morning. According to reports to our newsroom, shortly before noon today a heavy duty truck carrying construction supplies traveling north towards Belmopan collided head on with a tractor and trailer at mile 35, near the Silver Creek Bridge, on the Hummingbird Highway. The four passengers on the trailer and the driver took the brunt of the hit and were all rushed to the Western Regional Hospital for treatment. Three of the injured men have since been transferred by ambulance to the KHMH. The truck driver, an employee of Cisco Construction Limited, has since been identified as Saul Bailey. Police investigations into the cause of the accident continue.

Cop Critical After Shot Responding to Crime In Progress
Tonight a police Corporal is in critical condition and on a respirator at the KHMH intensive Care Unit after he was shot last night. Last night at around 10:00, Corporal Victor Lima was responding to a home invasion in Hattieville when he was shot twice in the chest with a nine millimeter pistol. This morning, police press officer Fitzroy Yearwood briefed the media on this shooting of a lawman: Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "Hattieville Police responded to a home invasion, an aggravated burglary, and upon entering the house, Corporal Lima was along with other officers. As he opened the door at that scene, the gunman fired 2 shots. He has been identified as Delford Slusher. He has already been arrested and charged for attempted Murder. Corporal Lima is in a critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital." Jules Vasquez "Lima was shot twice in the chest. Will he make it?" Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood "We are not sure. He is critical right now, and we just asking for your prayers and your support for him." Jules Vasquez "Does Mr. Slusher have a criminal background? Is he known in Hattieville as a trouble-maker?" Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood "Well, he was positively identified in this incident, Jules, so I wouldn't want to judge his character like this. So, we'll just leave that up to the court for them to give him his fair due."

Man Shot In City Was It Bad Neighbor Vibes?
A man was shot last night in Belize City - it happened at his home on Fairweather Street around 9:00 last night. 30 year old Taxi Driver Darwin Lodge was at home when someone called for him outside his house. He went to see who it was and was met by a gunshot to the chest from a dark skinned man. The police press officer told us about it: Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "Darwin Lodge, sometime around 9:15, he's saying that someone shouted for him at his house, and upon opening his door, a gunman just fired a single shot which hit him in the right side of the chest. He's at the Karl Heusner right now, receiving treatment." Jules Vasquez "But he had an altercation earlier in the day on West Canal, near Publics, where he's known as a taxi man. Was the altercation, earlier in the day, related to what happened in the night?" Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood "I'll have to leave that to the investigators for them to link that." Jules Vasquez "Meaning that you don't know or you don't want to say?" Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood "I will not comment on it."

Judge Sends OCEANA Back To Legal Drafts
7News has been closely following the Oceana Belize's challenge to the offshore oil contracts which were issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources between 2005 and 2007. At the last adjournment of Oceana's challenge to the off-shore oil drilling contracts, Justice Legall decided that the court should wait for an important case from the Court of Appeal. Since the claimants, Oceana, COLA and the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, cited the Froylan Gilharry case, which supposedly canvassed similar issues that are now before the court, they waited on the Court of Appeal to give their written judgment. Well, that judgment is here, and Justice Legall wasn't so convinced that it applies. Attorney Godfrey Smith said it does, so Justice Legall adjourned it again so that both sides can prepare to convince him with their arguments. We spoke to Audrey Matura-Shepherd outside of court about the importance of that case and why Justice Legall isn't convinced.

Tiny Bze Contingent Will Look Good At Olympic Opening
The London 2012 Olympics begin in less than 48 hours and Belize's tiny, six-person contingent has arrived at the Olympic Village. Our delegation has only three athletes: Kaina Martinez from the Stann Creek District who is running the 100 meter, Kenneth Medwood, a Belizean American who live sin Los Angeles who is running the 400 meter hurdles and Eddermys Sanchez, a Cuban-Belizean who is participating in the 66 kilos classification for Judo. The Chief Of Mission is Sonny Meighan, track coach Colin Thurton, and judo coach Wellington Chee. And while the Belize team is small, they will surely be stylish at the opening ceremony. Highly regarded British Fashion Designer, Jeff Banks has designed the outfits for the contingent. He says the Caribbean Blue Blazers with white trim were inspired by the fictional character, the Great Gatsby with a hint of a cricket umpire.

A Black Cat That's Nothing But Good Luck
Over the last few days, we've been telling you about the black jaguar, Lucky Boy, who was rescued from a rundown resort by the Belize Zoo. Today, we visited him in person to check up on his progress. We found a black cat, who's been nothing but good luck... Daniel Ortiz Reporting The black jaguar, Bosh - now named Lucky Boy - is in good health, showing signs of improvement, with his playful and energetic attitude to being fed. It's a complete turn-around in behaviour from the first day at zoo, when he was quiet and reserved in a far corner of his cage. He now has the company of the staff at the Belize Zoo, and he even has his own song. But it wasn't such easy-going when Lucky Boy was discovered in his extreme distress. The zoo staff described his health condition as the worst they've had to deal with. Humberto Wohlers - Animal Management Supervisor, Belize Zoo "We heard about it. We were contacted by the Forestry Department, and we moved immediately to the cite. Find a different situation, not very prepared when you go the first time, we started brainstorming how to best transport a very emaciated jaguar." So, they had the difficult task of transporting the jaguar, which was in poor health. They had to get it into a crate and transport it without using tranquillizers.

250 Caribbean Darts Players In Belize
About 250 international dart players are in the country this week taking part in the 19th annual Caribbean Cup. The opening ceremonies for the event took place yesterday evening at the Biltmore Plaza. It is the first time Belize is hosting one of the world's biggest dart competitions and today we stopped by to check out the tournament and to see just how Team Belize is performing: Malcolm Spicer - President World Darts Federation (America's Region) "This particular tournament is the Caribbean Darts Tournament. It's been going now - this is the 19th - It's been going now for about 40 years. And every 2 years, we hold it in a different country. Last year, it was in the Bahamas; the time before that, it was in Barbados. Then before that, it was Trinidad. So, we go all over the Caribbean with this game." Monica Bodden "Tell us a little bit about the competition." Malcolm Spicer "The competition is strenuous. Every team has to play every other team. It's a round-robin format, and we also have individual events: men's singles, women's singles, mixed doubles, mixed triples - it goes on. On a daily basis, except for Friday, we'll be playing from 10 in the morning until 6 in the evening. Competition is very high, and we have some of the best - well, we have the best darts players in this region playing here right now. We have Barbados, Belize, Bahamas, Brazil, Cayman, Trinidad, Florida - We allowed Florida to come as a country because they were the founding members of the Caribbean Darts Organization. We do not allow the USA to come to this tournament."

Channel 5

Police Association Leaders formally arraigned on disciplinary charges
It’s not a good day for cops; two have been arraigned before a police tribunal and the other is fighting for his life. At the Police Training School in Belmopan this afternoon, the tables were turned on two officers. The vocal president and vice president of the Belize Police Association were arraigned for disrespecting their [...]

Police Corporal shot in the chest while responding to home invasion
A cop was shot in the line of duty on Tuesday night. Corporal Victor Lima is tonight in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Lima was injured in the chest at a Hattieville house where a home invasion was in progress. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports.   Andrea Polanco, Reporting Around ten o’clock [...]

COLA protests at the office of the O.A.S. and calls Minister Sedi Elrington a traitor
The fiery executives of Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action turned up the heat today on the Organization of American States and the Minister of Foreign Affairs. They headed this morning to the O.A.S. office in the city to protest the erroneous information put out by the O.A.S. in respect of the killing of a [...]

Oceana challenge over oil concessions pushed back to August
The case against the Ministry of Natural Resources & the Environment, in which Oceana is challenging oil concessions granted to six companies between 2005 and 2007, has been adjourned to August twenty-second. The deferral came after Justice Oswell Legall informed both parties that he needs to be persuaded by their arguments, in light of a [...]

More land grabs in the Ministry of Natural Resources
There has been an ongoing and scandalous land grab at the Ministry of Natural Resources. Last Wednesday, we reported on the huge parcels of land that had been acquired by Ignacio Vega, the brother of the Deputy Prime Minister for a mere pittance. We have been carefully combing through the voluminous files on the land [...]

A mother speaks out against alleged brutality at Hattieville Police Station
The following story is also about the cops, but this one is about alleged police brutality. Francelia Gillett of Hattieville says that her son, eighteen year old Richard Smith, was picked up by Hattieville Police who proceeded to inflict physical harm on him. Gillett says that the abuse of her son is wrong and that [...]

Feud between male/female taxi drivers escalates to court…and shooting?
An ongoing feud between a male and a female taxi driver has ended up before the courts with both of them facing charges. First, Darwin Lodge was charged on Tuesday with Damage to Property for allegedly throwing a beer bottle at the taxi driven by twenty-five year old Tonee Anthony, who says the car belongs [...]

Chain snatcher goes to jail for 6 years
Convicted prisoner, thirty-two year old Moses Conorquie, will spend at least six years behind bars for the robbery and wounding of Janice Leslie. Conorquie snatched Leslie’s chain from her neck back in November of 2011, but her friends fought back; trapping him in his own web. Minutes later, Conorquie managed to escape but was captured [...]

Rescued jaguar, Lucky Boy, progressing in rehabilitation at the Zoo
Two weeks ago, the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network (BWCN) was alerted that a black jaguar was in distress at the Ballum Na Resort in Punta Gorda. The jaguar was frail and deteriorating. A second jaguar on the property had recently starved to death, so BWCN partnered with the Forest Department and the Belize Zoo to [...]

The Y.W.C.A. launches a new training program for young men
The Y.W.C.A. today launched a special training programme at its headquarters on Saint Thomas Street in Belize City. It is called the Y’s Enterprise Creation and Extracurricular Development Project, which will offer skills training to unemployed young men in the city. The programme will simultaneously boost the institution’s Helping Early Leavers Program (HELP) that prepares [...]

LOVE FM

EMERGENCY DRIVERS RECEIVE TRAINING
Emergency drivers are receiving training in Punta Gorda Paul Mahung Reports. PAUL MAHUNG, Reporter “Training session for drivers of emergency vehicles in Toledo was held recently in Punta Gorda. The one day training program was coordinated by officials of...

THE NATIONAL TRADE UNION CONGRESS FULLY SUPPORTS BELIZE POLICE ASSOCIATION
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize is putting its full support behind the embattled Belize Police Association. NTUCB issued a statement on Thursday pledging solidarity with the Association in its mission to protect and secure the rights and advancement of dece...

SHOOTING IN BELIZE CITY
Meanwhile there was another shooting incident last night, this time in Belize City. It happened about an hour before Corporal Lima was critically wounded in Hattieville. The police press officer gave reporters the details of the Belize City shooting. FITZROY ...

POLICE OFFICER RECEIVES GUN SHOT WOUNDS
A police officer was injured in the line of duty last night. It happened around ten o’clock last night in Hattieville village. The victim has been identified as Corporal Victor Lima who is assigned to the Hattieville police substation. According to police press office...

THE GROUP CITIZENS ORGANIZED FOR LIBERTY THROUGH ACTION TURNS UP HEAT ON OAS
The group Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action today turned up the heat literally on the Organization of American States and Belize’s foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington. The group today staged a mini-protest in front of the offices of the OAS in Belize City. COLA i...

CTV3

Fronting for foreigners all along?At last week’s press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow did his utmost best to distance himself from having any influence whatsoever over the granting of a large oil concession to his nephew, Kimano Barrow. But with so many Barrows enjoying the perks of big-time appointments, the PM is having a hard time selling that story. Meanwhile, there’s startling information regarding Kimano Barrow’s oil concession. The license which was owned by Barrow and Alfredo Acosta is no longer Kimano’s nor Acosta’s, or let us say not fully theirs. New interests have suddenly entered the picture and have taken over. Documents show that on February 4th 2011 a general meeting of the shareholders (Barrow and Acosta) of Paradise Energy Limited duly convened and held in Orange Walk Town elected four new directors of Paradise Energy Limited which are U.S. nationals Oren F. Miles, Oren F. Miles II, Allen L. Saum and one Erubiel Ku. Saum is no stranger to the Belize scene, as back in 2007 he claimed that he was forced to pay money to acquire a PSA license agreement. Following the accusation his uncle, Oren F. Miles, went public against his relative, maintaining that Saum had no legal right to represent him or his company, Miles Tropical Energy Limited. On February 7th just three days after the new directors were added, documents were filed to make them the new MAJORITY shareholders of Paradise Energy Limited. The new documents show that as of February 7th, Miles Tropical Energy Limited, owns 3,000 shares in Paradise Energy. They now overshadow Acosta and Barrow’s one share each.

LOVE TV

NTUCB comes out in support of embattled police association
The National Trade Union Congress today issued a release declaring the public and the Ministry of Police that the stand in solidarity with the Police Association in their mission to protect and secure the rights for all police officers. The release charged that the action of the Commissioner and the Ministry of Police are undermining and is an outright abuse of their powers as they seek to stifle the voices of affected workers to secure their rights. NTUCB further calls on the Commissioner and the Ministry to rectify this situation with much hast and give the police officers the human dignity they deserve. In the end the release urged the Police association to continue to agitate for change saying that change in most instances happen only after serious agitation. A call was also made to the National assembly to change the laws allowing the workers to defend and protect their rights.

COLA not happy with OAS
The group Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action has issued a statement condemning statements made by the Organization of American States regarding an incident in the Colombia Forest Reserve in which a Guatemalan farmer was killed. Luis Alberto Ramirez and two other Guatemalan nationals were reported to have been logging illegally, when they got involved in an exchange of gunfire with a Belize Defence Force patrol. The OAS statement quotes Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza as saying that the death of the Guatemalan farmer was a reprehensible incident which took place in the adjacency zone. The government of Belize has confirmed that the incident happened well within Belizean territory and not in the so-called adjacency zone. COLA, in its statement says that it is reprehensible that the OAS can get so completely wrong the difference between the established border between Belize and Guatemala and their artificially established adjacency zone. COLA notes that even though a correction is being sought by Belize’s resident ambassador in Guatemala Alfredo Martinez, none has been forthcoming so far. COLA is therefore demanding that the OAS retract its statement and to make absolutely clear that it was wrong and issue a clear and unambiguous clarification as failure to do so will be seen as evidence of obvious partiality to Guatemala by the OAS, a state of affairs that cannot be countenanced. The COLA statement ends by saying that it stands fully behind Belize’s security forces and calls on the Government of Belize and in particular the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to take all necessary steps to secure the interests of the Belizean people along the Belize-Guatemala border. Love News notes that the OAS has posted a revised version of their original release on the incident, removing any reference to a location of the incident. The sanitized OAS statement says that since the incident, Secretary General Insulza has been in contact with the foreign ministers of both countries and their respective ambassadors accredited to the OAS, to gather more information and ask for a broad investigation to the satisfaction of both governments. In these discussions, the Secretary General, according to the OAS release, received the commitment of Belize to conduct a diligent and immediate investigation into the incident, to which they will provide access to the government of Guatemala. The Secretary General also reported that he will participate in high-level meetings with the two governments in the coming days to discuss this incident, as well as other aspects of the bilateral relationship.

Christopher Lowe pleads guilty to wounding charge
Christopher Lowe was formally arraigned at the Magistrate Court in San Ignacio today for the blow he administered to the alleged murderer of his child. Correspondent Elaine Berry Reports. Four other men were also arraigned on wounding charges in San Ignacio this afternoon.

Robbery in Belmopan
A man was hospitalized following an attack during a robbery in Belmopan. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the details

Child is knocked down by passenger bus in Punta Gorda
A child remains hospitalized as a result of a traffic accident yesterday in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Channel 7 has exclusive broadcast rights for Summer Olympics
The Olympic torch is ready to be lit and the cast of thousands is ready for the grandest spectacle to take place in London, England. We’re talking about the summer Olympic Games and a group of Belizeans is already there carrying the blue, red and white. Love Tv’s Patrick Jones and Videographer Myles Gillet report. The Belize Delegation is led by Owen Sonny Meighan and includes coaches Colin Thurton and Wellington Chee.

Mexican embassy sponsors art exhibition
The Embassy of Mexico will host three art exhibitions in honour of renowned Belizean artist, Benjamin Nicholas. The exhibitions entitled, “Story Color Life, features more than 25 works by the celebrated Belizean painter, who died on April ninth of this year in his hometown, Dangriga. A press release from the Mexican Embassy states that Nicholas represents the pinnacle of Garifuna and Belizean art. He was born on August sixth, 1930 and studied art at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in the US. On his return to Belize, he settled in Dangriga and painted to the time of his death. He has been recognized internationally and was made a Member of the British Empire. Fellow Belizean artist, Yasser Musa, has been quoted as saying “with his images Benjamin Nicholas inspired Belizeans to appreciate, respect and recognize the rural life as a potent aspect of the growing nation. He boldly narrated with his brush the many aspects of Garifuna culture. His art works hang on the walls of ordinary people, art collectors, in museums around the world and in the halls of power of many nations including Cuba, South Africa, Venezuela, and Canada”, end quote. During his 50 year art career, Nicholas was also an inspiration to other prominent Belizean artists. The collection on display includes art works belonging to the private collections of the Mexican Embassy, the Belize Bank and NICH. The first exhibition will take place at the Sacred Heart Church in Dangringa, on Friday, August third. The second will be hosted by the Embassy of Mexico in Belmopan on Tuesday, August seventh, and the third will open at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City on Thursday, August ninth. The public and schools are invited to participate in any of the three exhibitions, free of cost. The displays are part of a collaborative effort by Atlantic Bank and the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH).

Project to rehabilitate Dangriga market commences
Under the Belize Municipal Project rehabilitation work began yesterday on the Dangriga Market, with more on this story here is Harry Arzu.

Miss World Belize competing on the international stage
Miss World Belize, Chantae Guy, has begun her rounds of competition in the pageant with an encouraging performance. The one-month of competitions opened the today in China, Taiwan. Love News spoke with Anna Guy, the mother of Chantae Guy. She updated us on the beauty queen’s accomplishment. Through the multi-media segment, Belizeans can help Chantae in gaining the kind of recognition and popularity that she is seeking. Guy explains how we at home can root for Ms World from this side of the globe. Ms World will culminate with the pageant final and crowning of Miss World 2012 on August 18, 2012.

PlusTV

COLA calls out Foreign Affairs Minister - Sedi Elrington
COLA it seems is lighting a fire under the seats of the OAS and Minister of Foreign affairs Hon. Sedi Elrington. Ci...

Internal tribunal convenes for officers on interdiction
Acting President and vice president of the Police Association, Officers Eldon Arzu and Edlin Lorenzo respectively, ...

Five escape horrific road accident
Tonight 5 men are thankful to be alive as they were involved in a frightening traffic accident. This afternoon shor...

Corporal in critical condition following shooting
Police officer takes bullets discharging his duty. C.I.B personnel visited the KHMH where Corporal Victor Lima was ...

Protest to be held in support of Police Association
As the Police Association is loosing ground, and more specifically leadership, the National Trade Union Congress of...

Belize City resident ambushed at his home
In another shooting in the city last night (July 24) CIB personnel visited the KHMH where Darwin Lodge, a Belizean ...

Wife allegedly forges husband signature to steal land
Anne Marie Morrison, a paralegal residing on Waha Street, in the Belama Extension Phase 2, is under criminal invest...

Annual convention for university alumni
The University of Belize Alumni Association (UBAA) will be holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) this Saturday, ...

Blogs

Tranquility Bay Resort: Ahhhh...The Beach I've Been Looking For
I just (reluctantly) returned from a few amazing nights at Tranquility Bay Resort on northern Ambergris Caye. Located within the Bacalar Chico National Park, Tranquility is a small resort 13 miles north of San Pedro town. With only 10 cabanas on a perfectly private white sand beach, you almost feel like you are in another world. Yes, it is secluded but secluded in a perfect way. I wish I had never left. I honestly have found the most beautiful beach I have ever seen on Ambergris Caye. THE BEST BEACH. I am not exaggerating. Grab one of the many beach chairs or a hammock and relax. The coast at Tranquility Bay even looks good when a summer thunderstorm is brewing. And look how close the reef is! But let's back up a bit...The Tranquility Bay boat picks you up in town (minutes away from the air strip) and 30 minutes later you are sipping a welcome drink at the bar over the water. Carlos, the resort manager, is giving you a briefing on the resort and the tons of activity options you will have. There are some huge advantages to staying this far from town. The reef is very close to the shore (as you move even farther north, it actually meets the land.) There is so little beach and boat traffic. You can kayak just off shore to the cut in the reef where manatees are known to frequent. There are tons of coral heads just feet from the beach...you can snorkel for days just there (perfect for kids). The beach is fantastic for swimming. And you have access to dive and snorkel sites that those who stay in town rarely see. Like a shipwreck just outside the reef... Tranquility Bay is a full PADI certified dive resort (and located by the Basil Jones Cut on the map below). A great place to learn to dive away from the traffic of town. The bar is a replica of one of the first bars in San Pedro Town, the Tacklebox Bar. Famous for its boat shaped bar and fish tank in the back deck, the original building was destroyed in 1998 by Hurricane Mitch. Based on pictures that I have seen, this is a faithful reproduction. You can see the dock, the dive shop and restaurant/bar over the water through this hammock.

2012 CHAA CREEK ECO CAMP – BELIZEAN WILDLIFE
We were greeted with a surprise this morning, as a local fox snuck his way up to the kitchen looking for scraps. What better way for the kids to begin a day focusing on Belizean wildlife than to get to experience it firsthand. After spending most of the morning playing camp games, practicing for their eco song competition, and working on an arts and crafts project (making bean bags), the campers’ patience was rewarded as we began our journey to the conference center to hear from the experts at the Belize Zoo. But this was not to be any hike, for the counselors had carefully hidden an assortment of plastic bugs and animals that represented all the forms of Belizean wildlife, including each team mascot. As this was a team competition, there was extra pressure on the eco-campers as everyone involved wanted to collect the most animals to help his or her team win the prize (the Jaguars came out on top!). Along the way, our eco-camp naturalist David Juarez was on hand to discuss and answer any questions the children may have had about some of the species of animals they were finding. The highlight of the day, besides the pizza for lunch, was the visit from Belize Zoo founder and director, Sharon Matola, and educational officer, Jamal Andrewin. The children had already heard that they could expect a visit from Happy, a barn owl used to help educate students on the importance of his species in our eco-systems. While they excitedly waited for him to make his appearance, Jamal made a point of explaining how all of the different birds of prey play an essential role in maintaining the balance of nature. With the help of Sharon and her guitar, the eco-campers sang Happy’s theme song and were rewarded as he flew out of his box to visit with the kids! Once everyone had a chance to see and visit with him, posters and booklets were given out to the campers who could best answer questions on the wildlife lecture they had just received – hands shot up across the room. Unlike yesterday, once the presentation was over, the children (and counselors) could not wait to get back to camp to jump into the water and cool off from the sun making its first appearance overhead!

International Sources

Hotel key cards open to hacking, developer says
A hacker has developed a device he says can act as a universal hotel key card to access millions of rooms around the world. Using a home-made gadget, security researcher Cody Brocious said he had mimicked a master key card to gain access to any room with an Onity lock. Details will be revealed at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas this week. Onity said it would look at Mr Brocious's work and address "any potential issues". "We will review and analyse Mr Brocious's presentation and any other information that he publishes on this subject," the company told the BBC in a statement. "Onity places the highest priority on the safety and security provided by its products and works everyday to develop and supply the latest security technologies to the marketplace. "Onity is prepared to address any potential issues posed by the presentation." Onity has about 10 million locks installed in hotels around the globe.

SCIENTISTS DISCOVER NEW THREATS TO CORALS
Most corals thrive only in shallow waters, where there is enough light for them to grow. But the rapid rise in sea level, due to the melting of polar ice, is making these conditions increasingly scarce. Measurements from tropical seas around the world reveal that the rise in sea level (3.3 mm/year) is happening at a faster rate than many corals have grown in the past 10,000 years, according to new research released at the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS). “The Caribbean once had 60 percent coral cover, and that has now collapsed to 10 percent,” said Jeremy Jackson, professor emeritus at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California, in a special address to the symposium, held Jul. 9-13 in Cairns, Australia. “Corals are critical and endangered ecosystems.” Sea-level rise is just one threat to corals, which have been decimated by overfishing, pollution, and bleaching from warmer sea temperatures due to climate change, Jackson added. A colorful piece of coral is made up of thousands of tiny animals called polyps, which create cup-like limestone skeletons around themselves using calcium from seawater. Coral gets its beautiful colors from microalgae that live symbiotically with it.

Starting Our Belize Honeymoon Flying on a Tiny Plane!
First things first: We had the best wedding ever!!!! Photos will take several weeks to compile, however, so in the meantime, be content with luscious photos from our 2-week Belize Honeymoon. And please don’t demand (as several well-meaning souls have already) that I stop writing during my Honeymoon. If I hated writing, I would stop, but our Honeymoon philosophy is that of Cartman from South Park, “I do what I want!” and writing gives me great joy. So trust, dear readers, that we are fully taking advantage of all that Belize has to offer, AND reveling in a few hours each day of online work (on our private balcony gazing out across the infinity pool to the azure ocean). Ok? Ok. Here are the 3 distinct parts of our Honeymoon you can look forward to reading about: For the first third, we are on the stunning island of Ambergris Caye and are graciously hosted in one of the most beautiful hotels of Belize in San Pedro. We shall be snorkeling on a day-long boat expedition, strolling through the bustling town, and eating heartily. Mmm. Next, we head into the lush green interior of the country, San Ignacio, where we are hosted by a luxury resort in Belize’s jungle known for its decor, cuisine, and expeditions to the many surrounding Mayan ruins. Thrilling! Finally, we head south to the miles-long peninsula of beaches at Placencia and stay at one of the top oceanfront villas in Belize. We anticipate ridiculously long, sandy beaches, seafood, and sights to swoon for. Yay!



Edited by Marty (11/17/12 04:01 PM)