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#444324 - 08/10/12 02:08 PM Today's Belize News: August 10, 2012
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Hurricane Ernesto brings mostly wind and rain to la Isla Bonita
San Pedro Ambergris Caye was spared a direct hit from Category One Hurricane Ernesto which left behind mostly wind and rain. The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) first issued advisories beginning on Friday, August 3rd when Ernesto became a tropical storm, the fourth named storm to form in the Atlantic region this year. Computer modules from very early showed that Belize would be directly impacted by Ernesto. By Monday, August 6th NEMO was fully activated including the Emergency Operating Committee (EOC) in San Pedro Town. The entire country was placed under a tropical storm watch which quickly elevated to a Hurricane Watch later that day. On Ambergris Caye, the San Pedro NEMO branch was in full operation advising residents to activate their hurricane preparedness plan. Residents living in the low-lying areas were advised to make necessary arrangements for voluntary evacuation in preparation for the imminent impact of Ernesto, which was originally scheduled to make landfall over northern Belize and quite possibly over Ambergris Caye. Residents and business owners alike boarded buildings and windows, securing their properties while local tour operators and fishermen began moving their vessels to safe harbor. Over 1,000 people voluntarily evacuated the island by both air and sea.

Snorkeling Tragedy at Hol Chan ruled an accident
The death of two visitors to Belize during a snorkeling excursion on April 3rd was ruled as an accident and death by drowning. The San Pedro Sun reported on the devastating tragedy that took place in one of the country’s most famous snorkeling destinations, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR) located between Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. The incident which occurred around 11AM that Tuesday, claimed the lives of American national 54 year old Roger Burger and Italian national Paola Maria Falco. Both were part of a group of seven that had become separated from their group by strong currents near the channel at the HCMR. The group had earlier left Caye Caulker onboard the Cyclone vessel, belonging to Tsunami Tours based in Caye Caulker when the incident happened. Initially, four individuals went missing during the snorkeling tour in the Hol Chan area. The guide, Marcel Graniel went in search of the missing individuals and later found that two had returned to the vessel. The other two remained missing and were eventually recovered dead around 2PM. Also onboard the vessel were; Americans 54-year-old Mrs. Rebecca Burger and her 17-year-old son Zach Burger, Canadians 25-year-old Lawrence Tastet and 29-year-old Yanik Doyon and Italian 59-year-old Mr. David Florencia. Following the incident, boat captain, Marcel Graniel was detained for questioning while police investigated the matter in an attempt to determine whether anyone was at fault or liable. A post mortem was conducted on April 4th by police pathologist Dr. Mario Estradaban at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital morgue who at the conclusion certified the cause of death as “Asphyxia by Drowning”.

Belize’s Tourism Industry has seen outstanding record-breaking months during the first half of 2012
Overnight tourist arrivals keep demostrating a steady increase as the second quarter of 2012 comes to an end. Belize’s Tourism Industry has seen outstanding record-breaking months during the first half of 2012. The BTB is honored to share that the first half of the year is ending on an admirable note with an exciting 9% increase in Overnight arrivals compared to last year. The good news does not end there, as tourist arrivals and airport arrivals are expected to continue their remarkable growth. With these stimulating figures, the BTB looks forward to sharing good news for the remainder of 2012. The following is a detailed report with the first half of this year’s tourism figures: Total Overnight Tourist Arrivals An overall increase of 9% in overnight tourist arrivals was recorded during the second quarter of 2012. A total of 5,791 more tourists stayed in the country overnight during the second quarter when compared to the second quarter of 2011. January started with an arousing arrival number of 24,263 visitors to Belize. This represented a 2.9% increase over last year’s figure. February’s figure totaled an astounding 25,778 visitors, which represents a 8.1% increase over 2011’s figure. March was the month that blew us all away with its history-making total of 32,240 visitors. Never before had Belize’s overnight tourist arrival numbers exceeded 32,000 visitors in any one month!

U.S. Department of Treasury targets accused Belize-Based operatives of Chapo Guzman
On Tuesday, August 7th the U.S. Department of Treasury based in Washington, D.C. issued an unprecedented and very bold sanction via a press release against three prominent Belizean businessmen. The men, namely John Zabaneh, his nephew Dion Zabaneh and his alleged close business partner Daniel Moreno are singled out as being Belize’s key associates and Belize-based operatives of Joaquin “ El Chapo” Guzman Loera, who is linked to the Mexican-based Sinaloa Cartel. The statement came in shortly after 9AM after it was posted on the website of the U.S. Department of Treasury. The release states that, “The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today (August 7th) announced the designation of John Zabaneh and two members of his drug trafficking organization, who are based in Belize and are key associates of Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman Loera and other members of the Sinaloa Cartel. The action also includes the designation of five companies in Belize that are owned or controlled by John Zabaneh or members of his organization.” The actions by the U.S. Department of Treasury is in pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), which prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with the individuals and companies pointed out in the release and also freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

Committee extends public comments regarding marijuana decriminalization to August 31st
The Committee commissioned by the Minister of National Security to evaluate the issue of Decriminalization of Marijuana thanks those who submitted their opinions regarding a proposal to remove the current criminal penalties incurred for possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana (Cannabis Sativa) for personal use. Your responses have been respectfully evaluated and taken into consideration, including, many requests to extend the deadline. In this regards the committee has extended the period for submitting your comments to August 31, 2012. For the purpose of this discussion we invite your continued input and ask that you respond to us with your thoughts on the following:

Ambergris Today

Belize Tourism Board Presents Positive Tourism Report
Overnight tourist arrivals keep demonstrating a steady increase as the second quarter of 2012 comes to an end. Belize’s Tourism Industry has seen outstanding record-breaking months during the first half of 2012. The BTB is honored to share that the first half of the year is ending on an admirable note with an exciting 9% increase in Overnight arrivals compared to last year. The good news does not end there, as tourist arrivals and airport arrivals are expected to continue their remarkable growth. With these stimulating figures, the BTB looks forward to sharing good news for the remainder of 2012. The following is a detailed report with the first half of this year’s tourism figures:

Belize Police Force Needs to Upgrade Benefits Package
When I joined the Belize Police Force in 1973 there was no insurance for police officers who got sick, disabled or died while on duty. If they got sick they would go to the hospital and they would receive free medical care and be given sick days with a date to return to work. If their injuries were severe, the sick days would be extended continuously until they got better and then returned to work. When a police officer was permanently disabled and could not return to work, the Commissioner of Police, along with the government of Belize, would agree on a retirement monetary settlement, which was not substantial. In the event of death, the police officer received a funeral with full honors and a meager compensation to his or her next of kin and nothing for the surviving spouse or children.

Costa Maya Festival Needs You For Continued Success
At the 20th Annual Costa Maya Festival opening ceremonies this past week, committee member Milo Paz gave the entire public of San Pedro and Belize a Wake Up Call. “Costa Maya is not about us and profits for the committee,” said Milo Paz. “It is about the entire community and how it participates. We have a few main objectives which are: (1) to provide good entertainment (2) to generate good business for everyone during the slow tourism season, and (3) to be able to pay our bills at the end of the festival.” The Costa Maya Festival Committee feels satisfied that they are committed to doing its part but is concerned and in a sense disappointed that the wider community is not. The committee points out that all hotels in San Pedro registered 100% occupancy during the festival. This indicates that very good business was generated for everyone, including hotels, bars, discotheques, restaurants, gift shops, stores, boutiques, and businesses in general. However, the number of sponsors to help curb expenses for the committee in hosting artists and delegates is not coming at full potential as in the past. With lower participation in sponsorship the committee is obliged to look for slightly less costly artists for its international night. This then translates into lower enthusiasm and lower attendance to all nights of the festival. With lower participation from the audience and spectators and concert lovers, then there is lower income generated and consequently Costa Maya Festival might have to tone down its festival to a one day event or discontinue it totally.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Looking Back On Ernesto- La Perla Del Caribe
Aboard Coastal Xpress our crew heads north to La Perla to prep for Hurricane Ernesto. Here's a look at the morning of Aug.7, 2012.

A Local Guide to Belizean Culture
The Culturist has some cultural questions for the owners of Ka'ana. Cayo is highlighted, so they mantion escabeche and the roadside BBQ, and Xunantunich is mentioned, although it's NOT the tallest temple; ironically, that would be Ca'ana. Orange Gifts is mentioned as having the best artisan handicrafts. Of course, they have to talk about the end of the Mayan calendar, and the celebration at Caracol. "For a glimpse of daily life, I recommend this form of transportation: Hiking. Over 40 percent of Belize is national park, and Belizeans are brought up with a respect for the outdoors, so many of the hidden natural gems have been preserved and are located just on the far end of a short (or long) hike. Whether you’re heading to a hidden waterfall, an inland cenote, a partially excavated ruin site, one of the many caves, or just enjoying nature, it’s a great outdoor pursuit that will give you a taste of the true Belize."

Split Peas with Dumplings & Pigtails
Split peas are a good source of fiber and carbohydrate. In this video, I share my favorite meal I use to eat with my grandma. I show how to make green and yellow split peas with salt meat (pigtails) and dumplings. This dish is very comforting and spicy.

Channel 7

Chinese Grocer Killed In Ladyville
There was a murder in the Mitchell Estate area of Ladyville around five this evening. The victim is a Chinese grocer, known to his customers as by his Belizean name, "Kenny". He and his wife, called "Candy" are the owners of the grocer called E-buy Supermarket. Details are still sketchy at this time, but what we do know is that he received gunshot wounds at around 5:20 this evening, and his family rushed him to the KHMH. Unfortunately, he succumbed to his injuries while at the hospital. Our News team is out on the story, and we'll have more details in our newscast tomorrow.

Johnny Zabaneh Says US Drug Blacklisting Is Destroying His Business
Yesterday at the Mayan King Banana Farm in the Stann Creek District, farm owner John Zabaneh was unable to pay his 200 employees. He can't because his bank, which is the Belize Bank has notified him that it can no longer handle his account. And with a payroll of over two hundred thousand dollars - Zabaneh says he cannot manage it without a bank. It's not personal, but because he's been blacklisted as a Drug Kingpin by the US Department of Treasury, no bank will do business with him. If they do, they stand to jeopardize what's known as their correspondent banking relationship with US banks that provide services for them abroad. And that's the precise effect of Tuesday's action by the US Department of Treasury. Their Office of Foreign Assets Control designated John Zabaneh, his nephew Dion Zabaneh, Corozal grocery store owner Daniel Moreno and their companies as "key associates of "Chapo" Guzman, and his Sinaloa drug Cartel. Once designated, U.S. citizens and companies are barred from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these individuals and companies. Today Zabaneh told us that his employees are continuing to work - despite not having been paid - but says he has to come up with a solution, and fast.

How The Coye's Became Convicts
Convictions for white collar crime are very rare in Belize - and that's why tonight, it's still quite remarkable to consider to Michael Coye and his daughter Melonie are spending their second night in jail. We expect that she is in the female section - and for Michael Coye, possibly, due to his age and family background he may end up in the Tango Five section - which is reserved for small timers, family court offenders and low risk prisoners. How did they end up there? We revisit that in a recap of yesterday's unprecedented events at the Supreme Court: Daniel Ortiz Reporting 36 year-old Melonie and 65 year-old Michael Coye are in in prison tonight, a culmination of over 3 years of work from the Financial Intelligence Unit. It is the first money laundering conviction in Belize, and for the members of the Coye family, now considered white collar criminals, and facing prison time, it their first criminal conviction The Coye family and friends' were visibly shaken as the pair were escorted by police to be taken to the prison transport for the long ride to the central prison in Hattieville. And while it is a stunning outcome, this is really about a suitcase stuffed with over a million dollars in cash that was found at the Coye's home. Where did all that cash come from?

Not Ready for The World?: Superbond 2.0 Gets Rough Reception
Last night we told you about the government's launching of what are called "Indicative Restructuring Scenarios." Basically, they are proposals for a Superbond 2.0 - with farm more agreeable terms than the present Superbond. It would save the government of Belize many, many millions of dollars - but represent significant losses for bondholders. Well, today we got a feel for what the reception on the market is like - and it's not good. A commentary from a Scotiabank International Analyst named Joe Kogan calls it, quote, the "worst restructuring terms." He says, quote, "this proposal (is) one of the worst restructurings for bondholders in recent Emerging Markets history." Kogan - who had been moderate in previous analyses of the Superbond difficulties - concludes that quote, "the government's strategy is puzzling. On one hand, they are going through the motions in consulting with bondholders and making their case for a restructuring. On the other hand, today's lowball offer will undoubtedly anger all bondholders, who would lose tremendously if they participated in such an exchange." He closes by suggesting that there is room for government and bondholders to come up with a more creative solution. As we understand it, Government's debt restructuring team anticipated this reaction - and has been engaging with bondholders.

PM Takes Personal Leave
And while the Debt Restructuring Team takes the heat, the PM will be taking some personal leave. According to an official release,Prime Minister Barrow left the country today to Miami, Florida. He returns on Monday, 13th August, 2012. During his absence, Patrick Faber will act as Prime Minister.

Jaguar Skinned In Caledonia
Belize's history of protecting jaguars is one of the proudest in the world - but it's a very fragile balance and the cat remains a prized possession for hunters. That was illustrated on Sunday in Caledonia Village in the Corozal district. Today's Guardian Newspaper reported on a hunting expedition for game meat which encountered a mature male jaguar, reportedly near a cane field road on the outskirts of the village. The Guardian newspaper which first published the story today, reports that the hunters shot it in the back of the head and took it back to the village where it was skinned. The pelt is considered valuable. Today via telephone form Cayo, Jaguar expert Omar Figueroa told us the report distresses and concerns him greatly. We warn you that the images used in the story - may be unpleasant to some: Omar Figueroa - Jaguar Expert (Via Telephone) "It was very disturbing, Jules. Without a doubt, it is outrageous to say the least. As a country, Belize has done so much to advance jaguar research and conservation. In so many regards, we are the envy of the region, and to see this happening, is just very disturbing and disappointing. It appears to be a large male from the size of the head. Usually, females tend to have smaller heads. But what caught my attention is you see that it has intact canines, and there are no other signs to suggest that this cat was old cat, or was somehow injured, so, it had to be preying on livestock.

Belizean Basketball Prospect Travels
Andrew Ortiz is an 18 year old High School Basketball Players. He's won championships with Sadie Vernon High School and recently participated in the King James Summer League in Ohio. That's where scouts took notice of him as a basketball and even an American Football prospect. And why not? He's tall, strong and quick, and now he's going to pursue his athletic dreams in the US - where he's been accepted as an exchange student at a High school in Ohio. He left the country today and we found out about his big athletic adventure: Rosco Reese - Trip Organizer "Well basically, Andrew Ortiz will be going to St. Peter Chanel High School in Cleveland, Ohio. We received a one-year scholarship to finish 4th Form. Now, at that level, it's very good experience for him because in high school is the majority of recruiting is to go to a 4-year college." Andrew Ortiz - Exchange Student "I feel good, but inside, I am leaving behind my family. I am going to a good family also."

Family Needs Help With Medical Bills
The family of 19 year-old Shayna Lightfoot is pleading to the public for assistance to help pay her medical bills. Lightfoot was recently diagnosed with cancer, and her family had to take her to Merida to receive her treatment. An unknown complication arose, and now the family can't pay the bill because they only budgeted for the cancer treatment. The hospital is now refusing to let her leave until that bill is paid. Her mother asked for help to get her home in time for her 20th birthday, which is just a few days away. Era Lightfoot - Mother of Cancer Patient "We found out at the end of April that she has cancer, and so, from then we were going to Merida for treatment. But on June 21, when she went for her chemotherapy, she got sick and worse. They had to admit her to the hospital, Clinica De Merida. Now, she is okay, and she is ready to come home, but we don't have the money to pay the hospital bill. And they don't want her to come out of the hospital without paying the bill. We don't have any money, so we're asking the public - anybody - to please see how they could help us, maybe the Government - somebody who can may be call the hospital. We don't have any problem paying the bill. We just want them to give us a certain time to pay it. We can go back because she still has to go there for her chemotherapy. So, we just want them to find a way to let her come home, and let us work on paying the bill piece by piece." Anyone who would like to help can contact Era Lightfoot at telephone number, 636-1636.

More On The Murder
As we told you at the top of the newscast, there was a murder late this evening in Ladyville. It happened in the Mitchell Estate area. The Store owner of E-Buy supermarket was and shot and killed around 5 this evening. Police believe it was a robbery. Even though details are still sketchy at this time, we were told that 2 men attempted to rob the store and one of them who was armed with a handgun, fired a shot hitting the Chinese store owner in the forehead. He was rushed to the KHMH in an ambulance but died shortly after.

PROFILE: Mark Manzanaro
Tonight's I am Belize Profile is about Mark Manzanaro, and his journey to join the Belize Defence Force. Manzenaro was set to pass out of his recruitment training, but he had an unexpected, life-threatening accident at the base. He tells us about a year's worth struggles he had endure defeat his lower-body paralysis, and then move on to become a proud member of the BDF.

Remembering Benjy
The recently deceased Benjamin Nicolas is known to have been one of Belize's most creative, distinctive and prolific artists. As a tribute to his legacy and broad body of work, the Mexican Embassy along with NICH and the Atlantic Bank is holding an exhibition titled, "Story Color Life, honoring Benjamin Nicholas". The exhibit features over 25 works by the Belizean painter. It opens tonight, but we got a preview today: Marcelino Miranda - Press Officer, Mexican Embassy "The Mexican Embassy is pleased to present this exhibition, this is the first tribute that is paid to Bejamin Nicholas, and that's the reason that the Embassy of Mexico decided to put together different private collections of his works. And in conjunction with that, the Atlantic Bank and NICH is presenting this exhibition. Benjamin Nicholas is one of the most important Belizean artist. He painted for over 50 years, and he also inspired many other Belizean artists. His work is mainly on subjects of Garifuna and the Belizean culture. And that's the reason and the importance of his work; the Mexican Embassy decided that it was worth it to present this exhibition. The first one was actually in Dangriga, the town where he lived and died in April of this year, and this exhibition is now presented in Belize City. At the same time, the Mexican Embassy edited a booklet on his work and his life with the support and the assistance of the Atlantic Bank and NICH. It's being sold in this exhibition, and the funding will be for the Nicholas family." Benjamin Nicolas died on April 9th, 2012 in his hometown Dangriga. The exhibition runs until August the 15 at the Mexican Institute.

Channel 5

Don Zabaneh; Will the U.S. extradite john and Dion?
It is said that when the U.S. sneezes, the world catches a cold. Belize is tied to the United States economically through imports as well as remittances from the Belizean Diaspora in North America. Now that the U.S. Treasury Department has used the kingpin act to designate Belizean businessmen John Zabaneh, Dion Zabaneh and Daniel [...]

Man photographed with stolen M4 Carbine not killed in San Pedro
It made headlines when a joint forces operation was engaged in a shootout near the Rocky Point end of Ambergris Caye. Three men, Alexander Mazariego and Ismael Garcia of Las Flores, Belmopan and Kendale Flowers of Belize City were killed. According the police, months before the operation was carried out they had received pictures showing [...]

A tale of 3 bond models; which will work for Belize?
The next bond payment for Belize is due on August twentieth. The government had stated that it budgeted for the payment, but it hasn’t announced whether or not it would make the payment. As you are aware the bond team is currently negotiating with bondholders for new terms that would be sustainable. Tonight we take [...]

Late evening murder of shopkeeper in Ladyville
Another Chinese grocer is dead tonight following a vicious attack at his business in Ladyville.  Kenny Deng, proprietor of E-Buy Supermarket, was shot and killed during an armed robbery this evening.  Shortly after five o’clock, Deng, who was inside his store on Crab Catcher Street, was shot in the head by a gunman whom it [...]

14 year old high school student suddenly dies
While the murder of the Ladyville shop keeper was calculated, the death of a young girl in Belize City is left without answers. An Edward P. Yorke High School student died mysteriously at her home on Jude Street in Belize City. On Tuesday August seventh, thirty year old Averil Tinsley arrived home at around three [...]

More agricultural damages attributed to Hurricane Ernesto
Preliminary results have been released from an ongoing damage assessment in the Corozal District in the wake of Hurricane Ernesto, a category one storm which made landfall in the Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday.  While the destruction of infrastructure was minimal, accessibility to outlying areas, including Sarteneja and other coastal communities in the north, have been [...]

Study shows steady deforestation in Belize
Belize sells its tourism package as one of Mother Nature’s best kept secrets. But the country’s natural resources that have come under attack by Guatemalan peasants who look across the river to an abundance of wood and opportunity. A recent study has been conducted that shows much of Belize’s deforestation has occurred over the past [...]

A deep step in flooded streets
The Belize City Council has been giving streets within the City a facelift. It is part of an infrastructural upgrade that the council has embarked on. At least fifty percent of the streets are to be upgraded, but the residents of the Belama Phase Four area are up in arms because they say that the [...]

Record figures for overnight tourism
We reported on Wednesday night’s newscast that overnight tourist arrivals in Belize were up by an overall nine percent in the first half of the year compared to the same period last year. The initial release indicated that in the months from April to June, there were approximately five thousand seven hundred and ninety-one overnight [...]

But what caused decline in cruise tourism?
But there was some bad news. The figures for cruise ship arrivals were down by six percent, just about sixty thousand less visitors. Esquivel-Frampton says the shortfall is attributed to the increase in overnight stays and that plans are in place to boost the figures.   Laura Esquivel-Frampton “We’re attributing it mainly to the conversion. [...]

Hospital bill has cancer victim stuck in Mexico
Though the Jewel brings tourism dollars, occasionally Belizeans must take their paychecks across the border. The mother of a nineteen year old cancer patient is in need of assistance to bring her home from Merida. According to Era Lightfoot, her daughter Shayna, has made several trips to Merida for chemo-therapy since she was diagnosed about [...]

P.M. out of country on personal leave
The office of the Prime Minister announced today that P.M. Dean Barrow is taking a personal leave. Barrow left Belize today en route to Miami, Florida and is expected to return next Monday.  In his absence, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Patrick Faber, will be holding over as acting Prime Minister.

Healthy Living goes bone deep with dengue
Dengue Fever is endemic to Belize and cases are detected each year, particularly during the rainy season. But in 2010, the country faced a frightening outbreak of the disease, which included a few fatal cases of dengue hemorrhagic. To prevent a recurrence, the Ministry of Health has implemented preventative measures. In this week’s, Healthy Living, [...]

LOVE FM

Data Shows Increase in Tourist Arrivals
The comparative figures for the first six months of the last three years show impressive overnight tourist arrivals for Belize. From twenty one thousand, three hundred and twenty eight arrivals in 2010, the figures for this year show that three hundred and thirty seven more visit...

Police News
A misunderstanding between an employee and a manager resulted in one man on the run and the other hospitalized. On Monday morning Police visited the Independence Polyclinic where they saw 47-year-old Aurelio Menjivar suffering from several cut wounds. Reports are that Menji...

Belize Audobon Society Reopens Protected Areas
The Belize Audubon Society (BAS) has reopened six of the nine protected areas it co-manages with the Forest Department which were closed yesterday due to the threat of Hurricane Ernesto. The Half moon Caye and Blue Hole Natural Monuments remain closed until further notice. The protecte...

Elderly Man Robbed and Beaten
An elderly man remains was injured when he was beaten and robbed early Monday morning in Independence Village. Police say they responded to reports of a robbery at a garage and on their arrival they were approached by 73-year-old watchman Rayman Frazer who was bleeding heavily fr...

Government Publishes Blueprint on Restructuring of Super Bond
The government of Belize today published its final blueprint for the restructuring of the nation’s foreign debt, commonly referred to as the super bond. The exercise started in early April and involved an assessment of the country’s external debt and preliminary discu...

CTV3

Family Of Four Seeks Assistance
Hurricane Ernesto has come and gone leaving behind several flooded areas in Corozal. Luckily, the damage recorded was close to none in both Northern Districts. But for one single mother living here in Orange Walk Town, the passage of Ernesto brought great losses. Forty one year old Irma Hernandez and her four young daughters weathered out the storm in their small apartment located on Poinsettia Street. The room was flooded with water and all of the family’s belongings were damaged. With nowhere else to go and little resources to get back on her feet, Hernandez is asking for the public’s assistance. Forty one year old Guatemalan National, Irma Hernandez, has been living here in Room Number 3 for the past 6 months with her four daughters. Without a steady job, the single parent has been struggling to maintain her family with the little money she makes.

Construction Of New Evangelical Church Gets Under-way
A group of 42 missionaries from South Side Church of Chilliwack in British Colombia Canada, arrived in Orange Walk on Tuesday to render their assistance to Chapels Primary School. The school, along with the evangelical community, is currently in its first stage of construction for their new church building. On Tuesday when we visited the school we found 21 of the 42 two missionaries hard at work. For these young men and women, putting others before themselves is important: that’s what they are being thought by South Side Church in Chilliwack. The group travelled all the way from Canada to Belize at their own cost, to render their services to the evangelical community who has begun construction for their new church building. The group has been hard at work since Tuesday. Heading the team is Brock Adams who says that the team partnered off with Thirst Missions in Minneapolis U.S.A, to make the trip possible.

Decriminalizing Marijuana
The proposal made by the Government of Belize to decriminalize the possession of up to ten grams of marijuana, is a hotly debated topic that’s taking center stage. Current legislation considers marijuana possession of less than sixty grams a criminal offense punishable by a fine up to fifty thousand dollars and as many as three years in prison. But government plans to change that legislation should the proposal go through. When the proposal was announced to the public back in July, the committee that would examine the decriminalizing of marijuana possession gave the public less than a week to send in their comments and concerns.

Propane Leakage Creates Possibility Of Explosion
Minutes after 5:00 yesterday evening, the Orange Walk Fire Department, was called out to Main Street where they observed the rear portion of a red van leaking propane. For the average man it might seem like nothing serious but for those with the special expertise, well, they think otherwise. According to Kenneth Mortis, Chief Substation Officer for the Orange Walk Fire Department, the van was leaking propane. The leak was coming from a hose that runs from the rear passenger side to the gas tank. In order for the fire fighters to stop the flow of propane, a wet cloth was attached to the hose after which the van was sprayed with water. According to Mortis the gas tank contained approximately 30 gallons of the natural gas. If the leak was not stopped in time, the gas would have poured into the open space creating the possibility of an explosion.

Government Presents Three Options to Pay Superbond
In twelve days, on August 20th to be exact, the Government of Belize is scheduled to make the next superbond payment of $46 million with an interest rate of 8.5%. Will GOB be able to make the payment? That’s left to be seen, what we can tell you though, is that Government proposes to restructure the U.S$57 million superbond and yesterday the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development released a copy of their restructuring plan called the Indicative Restructuring Scenarios. According to the report Government has been holding discussions with multilateral partners focusing on refining medium-term macroeconomics projections and identifying corrective measures to counterbalance the $19.5 million shortfall in oil revenue that have already started to materialize. In the document Government outlines three options which they believe could ease off the bond payment. Option one extends the superbond payment to 2062 making it a 50 year bond with a two percent interest rate and 15 years grace period. Option 2 on the other hand, extends the bond to 2042 with no grace period. Government; however, is proposing a forty-five percent discount on the principal interest. Similar to the second proposal, the third alternative also extends the bond to 2042, has a 45 percent discount on the principal interest, but proposes a five year grace period and a three point five percent interest rate throughout the term.

Overnight Tourism Increase By Nine Percent
A report from the Belize Tourism Board shows that there was 9% increase in overnight arrivals in the first half of this year compared to last year as a total of 5,791 more tourists stayed in the country overnight. January started with an arousing arrival number of 24,263 visitors to Belize representing a 2.9% increase over last year’s figure. February’s figure totaled an astounding 25,778 visitors, representing an increase of 8.1% compared to last year. In March a total of 32,240 tourists visited the jewel for the firs time. April’s 2012 figure of 23,699 surpassed the 2011 figure of 23,585. The month of May saw a 14.6% growth while June did not disappoint with a 13.1% increase over last year’s recorded figure. The report also shows that overall there was a 13.8% increase in airport tourist arrivals through the first half of 2012. As it pertains to cruise visitors, BTB boasts of a 34.9% increase in January alone. But amidst the good news is the fact that during the first half of 2012 the cruise industry saw a 5.9% decrease in tourist arrivals compared to the figures of the same period in 2011.

Increase In Deforestation In Belize Recorded
According to news.mongabay.com, deforestation in Belize has accelerated since late 2010. The online news article reports that a new satellite-based assessment of the jewels forest, covered by CATHALAC (the Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean), shows that there has been an increase in deforestation in Belize. The analysis used NASA Landsat-7 imagery to compare forest cover between early 2010 and early 2012. It concludes that Belize's forest cover fell from 62.7 percent to 61.6 percent during the period, a decline of 25,264 hectares. The annual loss of 12,632 Hectares is more than a quarter higher than the rate observed between 1980 and 2010, when deforestation averaged around 10,000 hectares per year. According to the article, a technical report detailing the analysis will be released soon. A 2010 study by the group found that most deforestation between 1980 and 2010 occurred outside protected areas, where land is being converted for agriculture and plantations.

LOVE TV

More time to offer comments on marijuana decriminalization proposal
The discussion on the proposal to remove the criminal penalties for the possession of a small amount of Marijuana in Belize continues. [VO] And today the Committee set up by government to evaluate the feasibility of the decriminalization announced another extension of the deadline for the public to make submissions on the proposed decriminalization. The announced intention would be to remove the criminal penalties for the possession of ten grams of marijuana or less for personal use. In its announcement of the extension today, the Ministry of National Security listed a nine-point reference list of questions being considered during this evaluation period. It includes the question of just how much marijuana should be decriminalized, the penalties that should be levied upon first time offenders, the need for drug education, and whether the “decriminalization” of marijuana will increase, remain the same, or decrease the usage of marijuana both for adults and youths? The new deadline for the submission of comments and suggestions from the general public is now Friday, August thirty first. Comments are to be emailed to: decriminalizebelize@gmail.com

Rapist gets fifteen-year jail sentence
Twenty-six year old Leroy Gomez has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. At the end of July Gomez was found guilty of rape and robbery. Justice Adolph Lucas sentenced Gomez to 15 years for each charge however the sentences will run concurrently. The incident occurred between 5:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. on August 23, 2011. The complainant, a 27 year old mother of two, testified that she was walking on Administration Drive when Gomez rode up to her on a bicycle and put something to her side that resembled a firearm. She said Gomez stole her fake diamond earrings and her cell phone then he took her to the verandah of a house at the back of a yard and raped her. Gomez testified and said that at the time of the incident he was at the house of his mother-in-law waiting for his girlfriend. His mother-in-law testified and corroborated his alibi testimony. Gomez was not represented by any attorney. Crown Counsel Trienia Young represented the prosecution.

Father and daughter duo jailed on money laundering conviction
Last Friday a jury of seven women and two men deliberated for about two and a half hours before it found [VO] Michael Coye, Melonie Coye, Atlee Matute and Dietrich Kingston guilty of money laundering for $1.5 million. On Wednesday the four were back in court in front of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin for sentencing. Melonie Coye was sentenced to three years in prison. She was additionally charged $50,000.00 which she has to pay in one year or in default she will spend an additional year behind bars. Her father Michael Coye was also sentenced to three years in prison and charged $25,000.00. Atlee Matute and Dietrich were issued fines of $25,000.00 each. They must an installment of $10,000.00 by November first and the rest in installments of $500.00. On December 31, 2008 police conducted a search at the home of Michael Coye on Johnson Street where they found the one point five million dollars. The prescribed offence for money laundering was that the four forged a number of documents for which the names of the persons were put along with their purported signatures for money that was purportedly sent to them through Money Gram Exchange, a company which Michael and Melonie were directors and shareholders. To prove its case, the prosecution called 18 witnesses. The defendants were represented by attorneys Dickie Bradley, Arthur Saldivar and Brian Neal. The Financial Intelligence Unit was represented by counsels Antionette Moore, Tricia Anderson and Patricia Arana. The trial was a retrial. The four along with three others were freed of the charge at the first trial. The three others were Michael’s wife Marleni, his son, Jude and Melonie’s husband, James Gerou. The FIU appealed the verdict of the first trial and Belize Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and ordered a retrial for four of the seven.

Brutal home invasion in St. Matthew’s Village
A St. Matthew’s Village family was terrorized during a home invasion early this morning. According to one of the victims, she was in bed along with her husband and two children when she was awakened by a loud noise. Upon making checks they saw three men who had used the cover of heavy rain to break down their door. The woman said one of the men was armed with a firearm. The men attacked her husband and beat him unconscious after which they tied her up along with her two children. The woman said one of the men then proceeded to rape her while the other two ransacked their home. The assailants made off with jewellery including two wedding bands, a pair of gold earrings and a gold ring along with three cellular phones. The men then left in her husband’s red Ford Ranger pickup truck. After the men left, the woman sought the assistance of her neighbours to get her husband to the Western Regional Hospital. He was in a semi conscious state suffering from abrasions to the right cheek, left hand, three broken teeth, six broken ribs broken and complained of pain all over his body. He remains hospitalized. His wife was treated and released. The vehicle was recovered about half a mile from the family’s home with the battery missing.

Chinese grocer shot and killed in Ladyville
Chinese businessman Kenny Deng was fatally wounded during what appears to be an attempted robbery on Thursday evening in Ladyville village, Belize district. Sketchy reports suggest that a lone gunman may have attempted to hold up E-Buy Supermarket, situated on Crab Catcher Street in the Mitchell Estate area of Ladyville when the shooting happened just after five o’clock yesterday evening. Deng was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City for treatment, but died shortly after. It is not known if the gunman got away with anything from Deng or the Supermarket and the police investigation of this latest murder continues.

Belizean blacklisted by the USA says he is innocent
For the past couple of days, Love News has been reporting on the blacklisting of three Belizeans and their business holdings by the United States government for their alleged involvement with Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel. Using its Kingpin Act, the United States Treasury is accusing John Zabaneh, his nephew Dion and businessman Daniel Moreno of being key associates of Mexico’s high profile trafficker Joaquin Guzman. When the US government agency announced that it had targeted the trio, an official statement also noted that the Obama administration had also frozen the US assets of the three men as well as those of five of their companies including a banana farm, grocery store and marina. On Wednesday, John Zabaneh, through his unnamed attorneys, issued a statement claiming that the actions of the US Treasury were unfounded, wild and unsubstantiated. In his press release, Zabaneh says that all the accusations of wrongdoings by the US Treasury Department against himself and his companies are, quote, false and defamatory, unquote. Zabaneh goes on to explain that he has no association with Chapo Guzman, that he has never met or heard of Daniel Moreno nor has he seen or spoken with his nephew Dion Zabaneh in years. The Zabaneh statement concludes by saying that the businesses blacklisted by the US Treasury Department, together employs over seven hundred and fifty workers and is responsible for the generation of over fifteen million US dollars to the Belize economy through exports annually. Zabaneh is concerned that the US treasury Department move will adversely affect his business operations in Belize; but if confident that in time, he and his companies will be fully exonerated. The companies blacklisted on Tuesday are Mayan King, Mid-South Investments, Crown Paradise Enterprises, Belize Chemicals and D’s Supermarket Company.

Benjamin Nicholas’ paintings go on display
The Mexican Embassy will be showcasing an exhibit in tribute of renowned Belizean Artist Benjamin Nicholas who passed away in April of this year. This is the final in a series of three exhibits presented firstly in Dangriga and followed at the Mexican Embassy in Belmopan. Public Relations Officer for the Mexican Embassy is Marcelino Miranda. The exhibit in Belize City opens tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the Institute of Mexico on Newton Barracks. The display is open to the general public and is free of cost. Schools are encouraged to organize excursions to the exhibition which will remain open until the 15th of August.

Ambulances for Belize from Chicago
The Ministry of Health has gotten a donation of two ambulances. The ambulances, which are provided through the efforts of the Chicago-based Superior Ambulance Service, were hand over to the Minister of Health Pablo Marin over the weekend during the annual Chicago Belize Day in the Park Celebration. George Heinecan was one of the persons who worked to secure the ambulances for donation to Belize. The Chicago Belize Day in the Park is part of activities organized by the Belize Educational Fund to raise funds to assist charitable organizations or individuals both in Belize and in the United States. Among the recipients of assistance since the inception of the Belize Educational Fund back in 2006 are the Guinea Grass Roman Catholic School, the Cornerstone Foundation, Salvation Army and Stella Maris Schools in Belize City.

New Commanding Officer for Placencia Police
Inspector Mark Flowers is the new commander for the Placencia Peninsula’s Police formation. Flowers was appointed last month to succeed Sergeant Norman Benguche. Because of the area’s growth and importance as a tourism destination, Commissioner of Police, David Henderson decided to upgrade the Peninsula’s top post from sergeant to inspector. Love News spoke this morning with Inspector Flowers. Earlier today Inspector Flowers presented two police officers with Police of the Month awards. He told us about the occasion. Chairman of the Placencia Village Council Charles Leslie, informed the Department of the Council’s plans to upgrade the Placencia Police Station.

NEMO declares hurricane “all clear” for Belize
The National Emergency Management Organization NEMO has issued the all clear for the entire country of Belize following the passage of Hurricane Ernesto. Even though the all clear was given NEMO says people in the North need to be cautious as they may experience some gusty winds with showers. Boats were advised to remain in harbor as sea conditions remain rough. Water taxis runs were delayed until midday. The country had been bracing for the approach of Ernesto on Tuesday. Coordinator for the Corozal District Willard levy told Love News they went into preparations early. Levy said that the response of residents should be commended. Levy said five shelters remain opened with116 in residence. These are persons whose homes are flooded. He said they should remain in the shelters for the next day or two. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has extended his congratulations to all those who were involved in preparing the citizenry for the hurricane. Hurricane Ernesto made landfall in Mahuahal, Mexico last night with sustained winds of 85 miles per hour.

Audubon Society announces reopening of national parks
The Belize Audubon Society has reopened six of the nine protected areas it co-manages with the Forest Department which were closed yesterday due to the threat of Hurricane Ernesto. The Half moon Caye and Blue Hole Natural Monuments remain closed until further notice. The protected areas now opened are the St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary (Jaguar Reserve), Guanacaste National Park, Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve, Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary and Actun Tunichil Muknal Natural Monument. Victoria Peak Natural Monument remains closed, as it is annually closed to the public from the period June 1 – November 31.

Hurricane Ernesto a no-show in Corozal
And while it is all clear now, on Tuesday morning, northern Belize appeared to be right in the pathway of the approaching storm. Our news team traveled to Corozal to wait for the storm’s arrival.

Prime Minister Barrow comments on US claims against John Zabaneh
Yesterday we reported that the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control had placed sanctions against three Belizeans who they say are linked to the Sinaloa Cartel. They are John Zabaneh, Dion Zabaneh and Daniel Moreno. We asked Prime Minister Dean Barrow for his reaction to the news. The list of companies listed by the Treasury Department is Mayan King Limited, Mid-South Investments Limited, Crown Paradise Enterprises Limited, Belize Chemicals Limited and D’s Supermarket Company Limited. Prime Minister Barrow says it is too soon to speculate on the economic impact of the action. According to the release from the US Treasury Department’s action was taken following the United States of America’s Foreign Narcotics Kingpin designation Act. The OFAC says it is designating Zabaneh for the notable role that he and his organization play in narcotics trafficking in Central America, particularly Belize, as well as their role in the drug trafficking operations of Chapo Guzman and the Sinaloa Cartel.

GOB announces super bond renegotiation plans
The government of Belize today published its final blueprint for the restructuring of the nation’s foreign debt, commonly referred to as the super bond. The exercise started in early April and involved an assessment of the country’s external debt and preliminary discussions with the bond holders to basically tell them that it’s not that we don’t want to repay the debt, but that the country simply cannot live up to its obligations under the terms of the US dollar bonds which mature in 2029. The government’s position, as we understand it, is that declining oil revenues and the global economic crisis are putting a real squeeze on the nation’s treasury to repay the super bond. According to a quick read of the debt restructuring plan put forward by government today, Belize is offering three options to the bond holders; but the bottom line is that any of the three scenarios being proposed would have the same impact on the bond holders. The first option being put forward by GOB is for the super bond to be swapped for a fifty year bond, meaning a maturity date in the year 2062. The bond holders will get a two percent rate of return on the coupon throughout the duration of the loan period; but with a fifteen year grace period on the repayment of the principal. The two other options for bond holders both include extension of the maturity period for the super bond, but options two and three will mean that the creditors will actually collect less on the bonds. In effect, Belize would get a huge discount on the principal loan amount of over a billion dollars. How much of a discount? Well, the Belize Bond Restructuring plan suggests a forty five percent discount, meaning that for every dollar Belize owes them, they would only collect fifty five cents. It’s a mortgage-type repayment plan and for the bond holders it is a matter of getting their money back in a hurry or over a longer period. Option two is for a stepped up interest payment beginning on day one, with one percent through to the year 2019; then increasing to two percent in 2026 and a final step up to four percent through to 2042. Option three calls for a five year grace period on the payment of the principal; with a three and a half percent rate of interest throughout the entire term of the bond; which would mature in the year 2042. As we said, all three scenarios would bring the much sought after debt relief for the government of Belize and at the same have the same impact on the bond holders. As we have reported previously, during the first round of meetings with bond holders, the debt restructuring team, headed by Ambassador Mark Espat had held talks with about ninety percent of the bond holders. And with the publication of the blueprint for the way forward, the renegotiating team is optimistic of a final resolution by the time Belize celebrates its thirty first anniversary of Independence.

Toledo resident complains about bad road conditions
A frequent traveler in rural Toledo expressed concerns about the current road conditions linking three Toledo communities. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Teenager charged in fatal road traffic accident
Police has charged 19-year-old Prandeep Kumar Saikai with manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving motor vehicle alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit and driving without due care and attention. Saika, a medical student was the driver of a vehicle that overturned in a cane field between miles seventy and seventy one in Santa Clara Village on Saturday morning. The accident claimed the life of twenty one year old Jayandra Jahhar.

Manager chopped up by angry employee
A misunderstanding between an employee and a manager resulted in one man on the run and the other hospitalized. On Monday morning Police visited the Independence Polyclinic where they saw 47-year-old Aurelio Menjivar suffering from several cut wounds. Reports are that Menjivar invited Jorge Humberto Hernandez into his office to settle a previous misunderstanding. As a result Hernandez reportedly became annoyed and inflicted the injuries to Menjivar with a machete. Hernandez then escaped in one of the company’s vehicle. Menjivar was transported to the Southern regional Hospital where he was admitted in a critical but stable condition. Police say they recovered the vehicle earlier today in an area two miles inside Texmar Shrimp Farm Road off the Southern Highway inside some bushes.

Elderly man beaten and robbed
An elderly man remains was injured when he was beaten and robbed early Monday morning in Independence Village. Police say they responded to reports of a robbery at a garage and on their arrival they were approached by 73-year-old watchman Rayman Frazer who was bleeding heavily from the mouth and also had a cut wound to the left ear. Initial investigations reveal that Fraser was at the garage just after midnight when he was attacked by several persons who hit him with a blunt object and beat him causing injuries to his face and upper body. The assailants made off with his wallet containing $500. Police are looking for one suspect in connection with the incident.



Edited by Marty (11/17/12 03:52 PM)

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#444325 - 08/10/12 02:09 PM Re: Today's Belize News: August 10, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

BTS says arrival figures are up
The comparative figures for the first six months of the last three years show impressive overnight tourist arrivals for Belize. From twenty one thousand, three hundred and twenty eight arrivals in 2010, the figures for this year show that three hundred and thirty seven more visitors arrived here in 2012. It is an impressive nine percent increase over last year arrivals for the same period, and the Belize Tourism Board is positively impressed with the numbers. According to BTB figures, the thirty two thousand, two hundred and forty visitors recorded in the month of March is the first time that Belize had broken the thirty two thousand overnight visitors threshold. BTB says that overall, there was a 13.8% increase in airport tourist arrivals through the first half of 2012, which indicates very strong growth despite going into the slow season of the tourism calendar. On the cruise side, BTB reports consecutive increases in cruise arrival numbers from November 2011 to January 2012. In January 2012 Belize boasted 86,128 cruise visitors, representing a 34.9% increase. This is a total of 22,293 more visitors compared to last year at that time. Overall, there was a 13.8% increase in overall arrivals through the first half of 2012, which indicates very strong growth despite going into the slow season of the tourism calendar. In all, Belize’s tourism industry is showing remarkable signs of growth and it continues to set new records during 2012.

PlusTV

PlusTV follows Hurricane Ernesto to Mexico
While it is not common for us to do international reporting, tonight we have such a story for you. Plus TV's Louis ...

Massive killer bee attack kills dogs
Africanized or killer bees are no strangers to Belmopan and must be avoided at all cost. Yesterday one Belmopan res...

Sports camps for children of all ages
There are only a couple more weeks of summer vacation left and students in the Belmopan area have been taking full ...

Tropical Depression 7 forms in the Tropical Atlantic
All eyes are on a new weather system that has formed in the Tropical Atlantic. The National Hurricane Center in Mia...

Zabaneh's local assets frozen
Courtenay Coye Law firm, which has been retained by John Zabaneh, yesterday issued a release on Zabaneh’s behalf re...

Teen, 17, missing from San Marcus Village
Rosa Caal of San Marcus Village reported that on August 6 at 4:00am her daughter Glenda Caal, a 17year old high sch...

Dangriga implements anti-crime strategy
It is said by the Residents of Dangriga Town that the crime rate in Dangriga has been on the increase. Officer Comm...

15 years for robbery and rape
Leroy Gomez, who was convicted a second time for rape and robbery has booked himself 15 years at the KOLBE Foundati...

Hon. Faber holds over as PM on personal leave
The Office of the Prime Minister informs the public that the Hon. Dean Barrow departed the country today, August 9 ...

Watchman attacked, robbed of cash
On Monday August 6 just after midnight, Police responded to a report of a robbery on Big Creek Road in Independence...

The Guardian

Coye Money Laundering Case ends in Victory for FIU
Melanie Coye, Michael Coye and Athlee Matute On New Year’s Eve 2008, Financial Intelligence Unit officials, armed with warrants, collaborated with the Belize Police Department and raided the home of the Coye Family located at #12 Johnson Street. The raid yielded the FIU’s biggest bust as they found sums of cash in different denominations stashed in bags and suitcases. 62-year-old Michael Coye his wife 56-year-old Marlene, and 33-year-old daughter, Melanie Coye were arrested as a result.

“Battery” and Wilbur Gentle remanded for Discharging Firearm in Public
On Monday, August 6th, 26-year-old Brandon "Battery" Smith and 20-year-old Wilbur Gentle appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where they were charged with discharging a firearm in public. They pleaded not guilty to the charge but because the offence is alleged to have been committed with a gun, they were denied bail and were remanded to prison until September 24th.

Guilty of terrorizing the Black Rock Lodge
Guatemalan nationals, Marcos Javier Chiquin Molina, 49, and Geronimo Cortez Gonzales, 42, were found guilty on Thursday, August 2nd, for terrorizing the Black Rock Lodge.

Ricardo Blanco found naked off Feeder Road in Orange Walk
When a missing Orange Walk resident, Ricardo Blanco, 35, a construction worker, did not return home from work on Thursday, August 2nd, his family feared the worst. Their worst fear was confirmed two days later, on Saturday, August 4th, when they found him dead on a feeder road some miles out of Trial Farm Village.

Three Men charged with Drug Trafficking
On Friday, August 3rd, Edwin Vacarro, 20, a painter of a North Creek Street address; Ricky Bevans,18, a resident of Justice Street; and Albert Johnson, Jr.,19-year-old resident of Mex Avenue, appeared in court to answer to charges of drug trafficking .

PUP City Council Candidate arrested and charged
PUP candidate for the last municipal elections, Gilroy Usher, Jr., appeared in Magistrate's Court on Monday, August 6th where he was charged for two counts of aggravated assault and a count of harm. He pleaded not guilty to the charges when he appeared before Magistrate Aretha Ford, who granted him bail in the sum of $3,000. He was granted bail under the condition that he does not take a firearm or any deadly weapon to court when he goes to conduct business there. He met bail and his case was adjourned until September 24th.

Illegal Immigrant removed from Belize
Vilma Marlene Marina Rodriguez Acosta, 41, a Honduran national, who had been residing on Collet Canal for the past four months, has been expelled from the country following a court order on Friday, August 3rd for her removal.

Charged with keeping ammunition without a gun license
Dorian Sutherland, 24, appeared in Court on Friday, August 3rd to answer to charges of keeping ammunition without a gun license.

James Patrick Swan murdered in Corozal
Police are investigating the murder of 30-year-old James Patrick Swan. According to police reports, at around 7:20 p.m. on Sunday, August 5th, Swan stopped in front of Deng’s Supermarket on 7th Avenue in Corozal Town and had a conversation with 38-year-old Ajay Bajay. It was at this time that a male person of dark complexion walked from behind a fence in the area and opened fire upon Swan and Bajay. When police arrived on the scene, they saw Bajay suffering from gunshot wounds to his right hand and left foot. Swan had already been rushed to the Corozal Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead by a medical officer. Swan suffered from multiple gunshot wounds to the right side of the head, chest and stomach area.

Over 400 Children at Gaspar Vega Summer Camp
Participants in the Gaspar Vega Summer Camp The 7th annual Hon. Gaspar Vega Summer Camp concluded on Friday, August 4th, in San Jose Village. The first camp was held 8 years ago for primary school aged children 5-13 years old in the Trial Farm area. Christopher Hendricks, Camp Coordinator, said that a little over fifty youths participated in the first camp and funding was low. He remembers presenting the participants with certificates made on typing sheets. Due to low financial support again, there was no camp in 2005. In 2006, Hendrics approached Hon. Gaspar Vega and shared his idea for the summer camp. Deputy Prime Minister Vega assisted financially and the camp was reborn, this time with 65 participants. The camp grew slightly the following years and in 2009, the Hon. Gaspar Vega decided to extend the camp to the entire division. There were over 300 participants that year. Now, the camp has attracted many more youths and sponsors.

Taiwan Embassy donates towards September Celebrations
His Excellency David K. Wu presents donation to Diane Haylock, NICH President The Republic of China on Taiwan has been one of the major contributors to the September Celebrations every year. This year, it was no different as on Monday, August 6th, His Excellency David K. Wu, Ambassador to Belize from the Republic of China (Taiwan) donated a check for $40,000 BZe. to the Co-Chairperson of the September Celebrations Commission, Diane C. Haylock at the House of Culture.

Prime Minister gives Thanks
The Office of the Prime Minister expresses gratitude that Belize was spared from any notable damage as a result of Hurricane Ernesto.

Medical Tourism: A Potential Money Maker in Belize
In an effort to open the platform for discussion in Belize regarding the possibility of a country-strategy and market creation for medical tourism, key stakeholders participated in a workshop led by Dr. Massimo Manzi of Costa Rica, and the Belize Trade and Investment Development (BELTRAIDE). The workshop took place on Friday, August 3rd, 2012, at the George Price Center in Belmopan.

Chicago Belize Day In The Park
Left to right: Belize’s Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Nestor Mendez, Hyacinth Latchman The 32nd Annual Chicago Belize Day in the Park was held on Sunday, August 5th, 2012 at the Hawthorne Race Course in Chicago, Illinois.

Cattle will be the Latest Formal Export from Belize
David Dycks Cattle Farm “This is the best thing that has ever happened!” “I never thought it would actually come true.” and “This has the potential to increase the numbers of the entire livestock sector in Belize beyond recognition." are only a few of the comments expressed by leaders of the livestock industry about the cattle sweep and formal cattle trade to Mexico.

Ashcroft Alliance ordered to settle Compensation for BTL in Belizean Courts
The Belize Court of Appeals handed down a ruling on Friday, August 3rd, in an appeal filed by the British Caribbean Bank Limited (BCBL) against the Judgment of Justice Oswell Legall delivered on December 7th, 2010 and the related order dated January 26th, 2011 made in favour of the Hon. Attorney General and the Government of Belize.

$40 million Arbitration Award for Ashcroft not valid in Belize says Court of Appeals
In December 2010, the Ashcroft Alliance had claimed a major victory against the Government of Belize when it got a judgment by Justice John Muria in the Supreme Court in Belize. The judgment basically gave the Ashcroft Alliance the right to enforce a 40-million-dollar arbitration award, which it was given by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) on August 20th, 2009. That award was related to the vaunted Accommodation Agreement which saw the former PUP government make numerous concessions to the Ashcroft Alliance. The final award stood at $40,843,273.34 as well as 206,248 pounds in arbitration costs and other legal and professional costs amounting to $2,960,735.69. The award was to have incurred annual interest at a rate of 3.38%

Alamilla’s/MOE and Tuff “E” Nuff tie at Two Games Apiece
Greg Rudon scoring 9 points against Tuff “E” Nuff The 2012 Interoffice Basketball League Competition will come to an end on Friday, August 10th, at the Bird’s Isle here in Belize City when the 5th and final game in the championship series will be played between Tuff “E” Nuff and Alamilla’s/MOE. The final game in the championship series became necessary when Alamilla’s/MOE defeated Tuff “E” Nuff by the score of 69-62 on Friday, August 3rd, 2012, at Bird’s Isle. The top scorers for Alamilla’s/MOE were Brandon Rogers with 23 points and 4 rebounds; Kurt Burgess with 12 points, 10 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal; Kevin Lorenzo and Greg Rudon with 9 points each. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Tuff “E” Nuff were Keith Acosta with 22 points and 6 rebounds and Stephen “Muerte” Williams with 9 points and 5 rebounds.

Telemedia at Central American Softball Championship
The Belize Softball Federation will have representation at the Central American Senior Female Softball championship scheduled for August 9-13th, 2012 in San Jose, Costa Rica by the National Softball Champions, Telemedia. The Telemedia Softball Team is scheduled to leave the country on Thursday, August 9th and will return on Monday, August 13th, 2012. Telemedia will see action against El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and the host country Costa Rica.

Champions Cup enter into Final Round
The 2012 Belize City Champions Cup entered into its championship round on Sunday, August 5th, at the MCC Grounds here in Belize City. In game one of the championship series, Belize Defence Force Football Club blasted West Lake Football Club by the score of 7-1. The goal scorers for the BDF Football Club were Harrison Tasher in the 1st minute of play; Marlon Meza with 2 goals in the 9th and 86th minutes of play; Lisbey Castillo in the 33rd minute of play; Byron Usher in the 40th minute of play; and Shane Flores in the 84th minute of play. The second game in the championship series will be played at a later date.

Vega’s Cup Tournament 2012 opens
The 2012 Vega’s Cup Tournament, which is sponsored by the Hon. Gaspar Vega Deputy Prime Minister of Belize and the Orange Walk North Representative opened on Sunday, August 5th with the Marathon Competition out in Santa Cruz Village. The Marathon competition was declared opened by the Hon. Gaspar Vega, who gave all the teams participating in the competition 2 footballs. This year’s competition will feature 16 teams including: Santa Cruz FC (defending champion), Old School FC, San Antonio Jaguars, Otro Benque, New River Dynamites, Barrio Boyz, Blackwater FC, Untouchables FC, Athletics FC, San Roman FC, San Luis FC, San Jose Pumas, San Jose Survivors, San Pable FC, San Juan FC and Douglas FC. Meanwhile, the 2012 Marathon competition was captured by Old School FC while the host village Santa Cruz FC placed second. At the end of the Marathon Competition, both teams received a team trophy; while Old School FC was given back $150.00 from its registration fee while Santa Cruz FC received $100.00 from its registration fee. The regular competition is scheduled to commence on Sunday, August 12th, at the Trial Farm Football Field. At the end of the competition, the champion will receive $3,000.00, a team trophy plus each player will receive individual trophies. The 2nd place team will receive $2,000.00, a team trophy and each player will receive individual trophies, the 3rd place team will receive $1,000.00, a team trophy and individual players’ trophies, while the 4th place team will receive $500.00 and a team trophy.

Jaguar killed and skinned in Caledonia
Residents of Caledonia pose with slaughtered jaguar and Jaguar is skinned for its hide On Sunday, August 5th, a group of hunters from the village of Caledonia in the Corozal District went out on a routine hunting expedition. While the group was looking for game meat, they ended up with quite a kill when they shot and killed a mature male jaguar.

Bye Bye Ernesto !!! Or Is It?
Sunday morning most of the weather models agreed that Tropical Storm Ernesto’s destination was somewhere between Belize City and Corozal Town. There were a few naysayers. Nevertheless, Ernesto’s flirtation with Belize is over! Or is it? Belizeans were having none of that, and like Hurricane Dean of 2007, Ernesto moved on to wreak havoc on the quiet lovely Mexican Town called Mahajual. At 9:00 a.m. August 8th, 2012, the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) declared the ALL CLEAR for entire Belize. In our organization, we were aware of the likelihood of Ernesto well in advance of its announced formation and immediately commenced our planning for the eventuality. This advantage allowed us to be super ready and the implementation of our hurricane plan was smooth and almost flawless. I sure hope that most Belizeans, businesses, and organizations hurricane plans were implemented with the same or better efficiency. I had the privilege of volunteering to go back to my old office and assist in the preparation of flood forecasts for Ernesto. We got out two forecasts to NEMO. Despite the elapsed time between these forecasts and my last, I believe we did a fair enough job. The National Meteorological Services forecasts and radar images were very useful, not only to us and other Belizeans, but to our neighbours and the Miami and Atlanta-based hurricane experts as well. Did you see Weather Channel using Belize’s radar images? Congrats to the NMS and NEMO. As we all know, it rains and then it floods. The actual rainfall causes the floods. The weather advisories were saying that Ernesto would dump 4 to 8 inches of rain, and at times up to 12 inches. All the rainfall numbers are not in yet, but I think it is safe to say we did not get the rain. I was praying for the rain over the Macal River. It would have increased the reservoir level at Chalillo, interrupt traffic over the San Ignacio low-level bridge and the residents would have been upset, but BEL would have been happy. Rain over the Guatemalan portion of Mopan watershed was just enough to cause a slight rise in river levels, and it appears that there will be no floods on the Mopan. No flood on the Macal River and a ripple on the Mopan River, a very small ripple, if any, will pass through the Belize River Valley. Then after all, Ernesto passed over the Northern Districts and there is where we should see flooding. So far the rains have caused a small rise in levels on the Rio Hondo near Blue Creek, Santa Cruz, San Antonio, San Roman, and Douglas Villages. This increase is expected to continue over the next two days, but no flooding is expected. The New River as usual does not respond to small amounts of rain and is expected to rise slightly and will not flood as result of rains associated with Ernesto. Surprisingly, the much removed Monkey River responded to rain from Ernesto’s feeder bands and has increased to above its normal level for August and is expected to continue to rise to below flood levels. Most of the rivers in the south, though affected by Ernesto’s feeder bands, did not get enough rain to cause any flood events. So it looks like BYE BYE ERNESTO!

Subsidize Tertiary Education: Should it be FREE? The Case of the University of Belize (UB)
There has been much in the news, because the Government announced, through the Minister of Education, that come January 2013, certain obligations to students will be discontinued. Education is pivotal to the development of our country, but we must be mindful that if we disregard the lower levels, then the foundation will be weak and students in tertiary level institutions will be underdeveloped, where pedagogical, critical thinking and problem solving skills are concerned. The recent budget allocates some 25% of total expenditure to education, but let us not forget that the many expenses that must be incurred to ensure QUALITY education. UB is now 12 years old and since the transition from the University College of Belize, the question must be asked, “How much of its total expenditure is subsidized by government?” Is the cost so outrageous that it excludes many potential students from acquiring an Associate or Bachelor’s degree? There seems to be a level of misunderstanding by students, when it was announced that certain fees will no longer be met. There was nothing said about government no longer subsidizing costs with the $10 million grant per year, which benefits the over 4,500 students, who attend UB. This grant ensures that UB does not have to increase tuition to pay its faculty and staff, develop programmes, or spend on infrastructure development. Five years ago, the government agreed to absorb the fee increase, because it was determined that the notice period was not satisfactory for students parents to make budgetary changes. There was an agreement that government would pay the increase for a finite period of time (6 months) after which students would pick up the cost. The truth is that present students will still be subsidized, but new students will meet the fee payments themselves. We must be mindful that the government further subsidizes the cost of education through scholarships. This does not mean that the students go for free; government must pay UB for the tuition and cost for those students.

Orange Walk Town NOT impacted by Ernesto
As early as 9:00 on Tuesday night, tropical force winds were felt in Orange Walk Town. By this time, hurricane shelters across town were already occupied by a few. Earlier in the day, Orange Walkenos were making last minute preparations in the event that Hurricane Ernesto could pose any serious threats, though just a few had taken measures to and secured their houses. Stores across town closed later in the day so as to allow employees time to prepare for the effects of Hurricane Ernesto. Later in the night and unto morning, the winds picked up, but still posed no threat to human life. At the break of dawn, the sky was dark in Orange and the rain was momentarily accompanied with gusts of winds which posed no threat to human life. People living in several areas in town have since reported that there were no damages or floods in their respective areas. Of note is that during the early development of the depression, Orange Walkenos were closely monitoring the system, and were being properly informed via the local news and by updates from the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

The Reporter

Editorial
A report published this week by the Center for Teenage Mothers, an adjunct organization of the NGO Youth Enhancement Center (YES), states that the number of teenage pregnancies in Belize jumped by 16.1 percent during the five years from 2001 to 2005, from 1,303 in 2001 to 1,513 five years later. No stats have been provided for the period 2005 to 2010, but if the growth rate of teenage pregnancies remained constant, we can say with some degree of certainty that in the decade that just ended, teenage pregnancies in Belize grew by 3.2 percent a year. This translates to 15,553 teenage pregnancies for the 10-year period 2001 to 2010, and that’s not counting abortions. The Government’s website lists the population of Belize today at approximately 320,000, and a graph showing population trends indicates that the growth rate has been sliding to a steady decline from 2.75 percent a year in 2001 to 2.06 percent a year in 2010. So while the rate of growth of the general population is declining, teenage pregnancies are rising.

Businessman Gilroy Usher Jr. arraigned on aggravated assault charges
Gilroy Usher Jr., 32, the owner of a Belize City pawn shop, and an executive member of COLA, was offered $3,000 bail after he pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated assault and harm against Police Constable Edgar Poot, when he appeared before Magistrate Aretha Ford on Monday, August 5. He was also charged with aggravated assault against Magistrate’s Court bailiff Gabriel Casey. The incident occurred in Casey’s office at the Magistrate’s Court building around 12:25 on Friday afternoon, August .

James Swan II executed in Corozal
Corozal police are yet to establish a motive for the execution-style murder of James Swan Jr. in Corozal Town last Sunday night, August 5. Swan died almost immediately after he was shot twice in the head and three times in his chest and torso; as he stood talking to Ajay Bajay, 38, in front of Deng’s Supermarket, on Seventh Avenue. Swan was the son of the well-known James “Raindrops” Swan Sr. He lives in an area of Burrel Boom known as Fresh Pond. According to police, the hitman apparently waited in ambush for Swan, coming from behind a fence near the supermarket and firing several shots as he approached.

The people matter most !
In September 2008, the United States and several other countries suffered a serious economic body blow that practically froze the entire financial system. Dubbed as the global economic crisis, the fiscal fiasco came in like a tidal wave that drowned major financial institutions in an ocean of immense debt. It engendered a massive rate of unemployment; cost millions of pensioners their pensions; depositors and investors lost their money, which in some instances was their life savings; forced several businesses to close their doors, in many cases for good; and, to top it off, left thousands of homeowners on the streets.

U.S. blacklists John Zabaneh
Three Belizean businessmen, John Angel Zabaneh, 57, his nephew Dion Zabaneh, 38, and Corozal based businessman Daniel Gonzalo Moreno, 39, have been designated by the United States Department of Treasury for their alleged association with the powerful Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel.

Court of Appeal decision trashes LCIA $40 million “Settlement Deed”
A ruling handed down on Friday, August 3, by the Belize Court of Appeal, has taken the Government of Belize off the hook to the tune of some $40 million dollars, from a ruling that BCB Holdings Limited and the Belize Bank Limited had secured from the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) with respect to a Settlement Deed signed by former Prime Minister Said Musa.

GOB’s ‘Super Bond’ options
The Government of Belize (GOB) has proposed three debt-restructuring scenarios for the so-called “super bond” and the first option, Scenario A, if accepted by bondholders, could very well push back the bond’s maturity date to 2062 from 2029 – a difference of 33 years.

Money Laundering Case
The four-year $1.5 million money-laundering trial of Michael Coye, 65, and his daughter, Melanie Coye, climaxed when Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin sentenced them to three years in prison on Wednesday, August 8.

Leroy Gomez gets 15 years for rape and robbery
Convicted rapist Leroy Gomez, 25, will spend the next 15 years of his life in prison, Supreme Court Justice Adolph Lucas ruled on Wednesday, August 8.

UN rapporteur defends Caleb Orozco’s human rights
Caleb Orozco has become the most recognizable face of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM), which is the group leading the debate for human rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) people; and now a Special Rapporteur of the United National High Commission for Human rights has stepped in to champion his cause. Frank La Rue and Margaret Sekaggya, special rapporteurs on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the situation of human rights defenders, have written to the government of Belize, through Belize’s ambassador to the U.N., to request information on the progress (or lack thereof) of the police investigation into the attack on Orozco, in which someone threw an empty beer bottle at Orozco’s head on George Street on February 8 this year, bruising his face and damaging his teeth.

Ernesto spares Belize! Farmers & CFZ hit.
Every cloud has a silver lining and no one in Belize wanted to question the Almighty when hurricane Ernesto skirted the northern districts of Corozal and Orange Walk to make landfall near Mahahual in the neighboring Mexican State of Quintana Roo on Tuesday night, august 7. While there was no loss of life and very little property damage, Ernesto hit Corozalenos where it hurt most, in their pockets. Hardest hit were the merchants of the Corozal Commercial Free Zone, for whom the summer months are a boom time when Mexicans have summer vacations, and many excursions of shoppers come to the CFZ seeking bargains. So it was a bitter pill when they had to close up shop and allow their staff to go and secure their homes against the approaching storm. But there would be even fewer daytrippers from Mexico which was also threatened by the storm. The Zone remained closed through Wednesday, until the National Emergency Management Organization issued the all-clear, allowing for the CFZ to re-open on Thursday, August 9. While conservative estimates say CFZ lost $250,00 for each day it was closed for business; others peg that figure closer to a million dollars per day.

Honey a sweet treatment for kids’ night-time cough
Instead of reaching for a commercial medicine when your child is coughing through the night because of a common cold, Israeli researchers suggest giving honey a try. A teaspoon or two of honey before bedtime can safely relieve the symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection, they report. “The cough due to a viral [upper respiratory infection] is generally a self-limited disease,” said study author Dr. Herman Avner Cohen, chairman of the Pediatric Community Ambulatory Care Clinic with Clalit Health Services in Petah-Tikva, Israel.

Living without lies will make you healthier
For good health, be sure to eat fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly and speak the truth always. A Notre Dame researcher is hoping this k advice will someday take hold, based on results of a “science of honesty” study she completed that showed tangible mental and physical health benefits among those who significantly reduced their everyday lies. Half of 110 participants were told to stop telling major or minor (“white”) lies for 10 weeks, while the other half (the “control” group) was given no special instructions about lying.

Corozal Ambush wins Belikin 3×3 basketball championship
The Corozal Ambush won the right to represent Belize at the FIBA 3×3 Basketball World Tour in New York on August 18 – 19, after winning the Belikin Open Men’s 3×3 Basketball Championship Finals held under the auspices of the Belize Basketball Federation at Jamborees in Belize City on Saturday, August 4. Jason Grant posted seven points as he and Benedict ‘Big Ben’ Terry led their teammates Marcell Richards and Alton Herrera to a 15-10 victory over the Orange Walk district champions, UB Jaguars men: Farron Louriano, Winston “Air Jun” Pratt, Darren Bovell and Ryan Zuniga. The Jaguars tied the game at 10-10 with three minutes left on the clock, but ‘Big Ben’ played big D, snagging rebounds to deny the UB men any more points.

BDF drills Westlake 6-1 Champions Cup football final
The Belize Defence Force drilled Westlake 6-1 in the first game to the championship finals of the Champions’ Cup Football Competition at the MCC grounds on Sunday, August 5. Harrison Tasher and Marlon “Matador” Meza led the BDF offensive, supported by Byron Usher and Ralph Flores on the wings, and Lisbey Castillo and Richard “Cheety” Jimenez at midfield. Westlake’s defenders Jose “Shaggy” Caceres, Kishane Pech, Shannon Flowers and Stephen Baeza had no time to get settled before Tasher penetrated to embarrass goalkeeper Charlie Slusher with the BDF’s first winning goal in the very first minute of play.

Cuban literacy program has benefitted more than 6.5 million people in 28 countries
Some 6.5 million citizens in 28 nations are no longer illiterate, thanks to the Cuban literacy program known as “Yes, I Can.” The figure surpasses all statistics reported by other similar programs implemented thus far around the world.

Blogs

A pleasant surprise
I was enjoying a couple of days up north at Grand Caribe this past weekend and got a pleasant surprise while walking the beach with Cowboy Doug on Friday afternoon – Coconut Leo. If you know me well you know my all time favorite drink besides iced coffee is fresh coconut water – if I could have it on tap I would. As soon as we spotted him in the tree I asked Cowboy if he had any spare gallon containers so we could support the local Belize economy. Coconut Leo charges $10 a gallon, if you see him on the beach I highly recommend picking up a gallon or two, one for now and freeze one for later. Jose jr one of the resort staff was helping Coconut Leo as he cleaned the coconut trees and making sure that no one was injured by falling coconuts. Guests at Grand Caribe Resort got a big kick out of watching Leo do his coconut tree climbing acrobatics and enjoyed tasting pure coconut water right out of the coconut. Coconut water is a source electrolytes and many nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, folate and a number of B vitamins. B-1 found in coconut water. Vitamin B-1 converts blood sugar into energy, which helps improve endurance and fatigue. Vitamin B-6 increases the serotonin levels in your brain, which helps regulate your mood. Read more about Natural Properties & Health Benefits of Coconut Water on one of my favorite health websites – Livestrong. Coconut tip – Freeze fresh coconut water in ice cube trays to add to your tropical drinks, as the ice melts it gives a delicious flavor to your drink instead of watering it down. Coconut water recipe – Add coconut water to your rum punch for a nice flavor. For parties I make it in a 1 gallon water container and usually throw in some pineapple juice, coconut rum, Caribbean rum and fruit squash as well. Cowboy and I added it to our white rum and cranberry for a nice change.

No Liquor Served During Hurricane Ernesto in San Pedro: Is it a Problem?
San Pedro, Belize's economy revolves around tourism. No one can deny that. I'd say that everyone who makes a living on this island does something directly or indirectly related to attracting visitors and making sure they have a good time when they are here. That often involves the consumption of a cocktail or ten. Over the last few days (I'm not sure if you heard!) we have been dealing with Category One Hurricane Ernesto. Only a few days ago, it was projected to make a direct hit to our island. We got lucky and it veered north. But a full hurricane warning (the highest level of alert) was declared and we saw plenty of heavy winds and rain. As part of the hurricane warning, NEMO (our emergency board both locally and countrywide) declared a ban on the sales of alcohol. A few have suggested that this ban is ridiculous. Are the powers that be suggesting that we will all go out and get plastered because there is storm coming? (I'll admit...I was tempted) Shouldn't tourists who have spent their hard earning money to visit be able to enjoy a Pina Colada while waiting out the storm? Well...no...and...I guess so...but... Bottom line: The ban is in place to keep everyone safe. To keep tourists and locals in their houses during this type of weather rather than out on the streets bar hopping. To let us all know that this is SERIOUS. The ban is nothing new. In fact, our neighbors in Mexico do the exact same thing. Plus, we get plenty of warning...if you know that you will want a few glasses of wine during the storm, you can go buy a bottle before the ban goes into place. And this ban isn't just enacted during hurricanes. Belize has a tradition of "dry days" for safety reasons and for respect. Election Day is alcohol free in Belize as is Good Friday until the evening mass is completed.

How to Travel With Kids
Entertainment options: The more options you have for your child to keep busy the better. This can include a DVD player and their favorite movies for the flight or coloring books that they can color. The key is to find small, compact and easy to pull out as fast as you can when a possible meltdown is on the brink. These will help entertain and keep your child busy and happy. Snacks: No one likes to travel on an empty stomach, be sure that your child has a full meal in their bellies before boarding. Pack several yummy snacks to prevent any complaints. Things like granola bars and crackers are filling and delicious without spoiling their dinner. Keep an emergency stash of their favorite candy for the worst case scenario. Security: Whether your child has a favorite stuffed animal or clings on to a blanket for comfort, don’t forget it. Children find comfort and security in these items when they are unfamiliar with something. Bring their prized possessions and allow them to carry it with them. Timing: Time your flight or car ride around their cranky times. Every parent knows when a child is not at their best, typically right before or right after nap time. Plan to board a flight at their happiest part of the day. Flights and cars are a great way to lull a child to sleep. So trying booking a flight at their bed time, typically less people fly on these flights and the chances of your child sleeping through the whole flight are greater. Make it fun: The reason why children aren’t good travelers is because they don’t understand what is going on.Flying can scare them because of the unfamiliar noises and the air pressure on their ears is uncomfortable. Your goal is to explain to them everything going on and make it a game. If you stress, they will stress. So keep it fun and positive!For a smooth flight and travel itinerary, be prepared by packing the essentials listed. Remember to make it fun and time it just right! Happy and safe travels!

After Ernesto has left …
The real damage that any Tropical Storm and or Hurricane creates is the loss in tourism. It is catastrophic and even more so in the month of August our expected ‘high season’ the time when you are suposed to be ‘banking’ money for the upcoming slow season. Ernesto only real damage, like 99% of the storms that we are affected by (both meaning even hit or at some point within the projected path) was the loss of tourists. The scaremongering that is created with the media hype and ignorance of accurate information (perpetuated on the most part by those who have no stake hold in the industry), causes future tourists that intended on coming to Caye Caulker to change their plans without any need to at all. If anyone would feel sorry for us in any way, feel sorry for that – not the life threatening winds, which were never at any point life threatening, even if the storm hit head on!!! Yesterday the island ‘un-packed’ and set back up all bars, restaurants, dive and snorkel shops – back ready for business this morning! The packing and un-packing process is time consuming. Each and every time you pack your items away to safety knowing the exercise is almost completely unecessary as you know the storm will not actually do any damage, however, the one time you do not prepare yourself, is the day that one of these storms do actually hit – namely Hurricane Keith 2000!

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (08 August, 2012)
Straight Line 100.00 Each (6 Balls) 70 ­43 ­25 ­51 ­59 ­3­ Y 125.00 Each (14 Balls) 70 ­43 ­25 ­51 ­59 ­3 ­21 ­64 ­11 ­56 ­19 ­5 ­48 ­41­ Inside World 1000.00 Each (18 Balls) 70 ­43 ­25 ­51 ­59 ­3 ­21 ­64 ­11 ­56 ­19 ­5 ­48 ­41 ­66 ­32 ­39 ­54­ T 150.00 Each (23 Balls) 70 ­43 ­25 ­51 ­59 ­3 ­21 ­64 ­11 ­56 ­19 ­5 ­48 ­41 ­66 ­32 ­39 ­54 ­1 ­42 ­49 ­17 ­63­ Letter X 750.00 Each (24 Balls) 70 ­43 ­25 ­51 ­59 ­3 ­21 ­64 ­11 ­56 ­19 ­5 ­48 ­41 ­66 ­32 ­39 ­54 ­1 ­42 ­49 ­17 ­63 ­74­

International Sources

Belize’s bond: not so super after all
Belize’s so-called superbond has not proved to be a super investment proposition. The country has set out proposals on how it might restructure the bond, which bundled together several old debts (hence its name) and the ideas have been greeted with horror by investors. Essentially, the government wants to reduce the principal of the bond by almost half while extending the maturity by 13 years, according to one of the proposals. Interest rates on the issue, at 8.5 percent this year, could be cut to a flat 3.5 percent. Or investors could accept a 1 percent rate that steps up to 4 percent after 2019. Markets had been expecting a restructuring ever since Prime Minister Dean Barrow said in February the country could not afford to keep up debt repayments. The bond duly fell after his comments but picked up a bit in recent months after Barrow assured investors the restructuring would be amicable. Investors holding the bond are now nursing year-to-date losses of 24 percent, according to JP Morgan. There’s worse. If the government sticks to its original proposals, says Stuart Culverhouse, head of research at brokerage Exotix, the principal of the bond, currently at $544 million, could fall under $500 million. That will push it out of the main bond benchmark for emerging markets, JP Morgan’s EMBI Global, and would trigger automatic selling by funds benchmarked to the index. Culverhouse predicts that the bond, now trading at 42 cents on the dollar, will fall eventually to the low-20s. It started the year just over 60 cents.

Fishing in a sea of climate change
Research funded by Norway's government and research council is examining how fishers in Belize cope with social and environmental change. It is part of the Many Strong Voices programme which helps marginalised people help themselves to deal with climate change. Fishing communities in Belize face many climate change challenges. They depend on the sea and coral reefs for food and income. They face changing storms, higher water temperatures, and rising sea levels. As with Norwegian fishers, climate change is not the only challenge. Fuel and food prices are increasing. Tourism opens up lucrative opportunities, yet increases dependency on outside whims. Belize is heavily indebted. Consumerist lifestyles dictate increased demands on natural resources. These multiple difficulties hit home when spending time on a fishing boat, to see the fishers' day-to-day lives on the sea and to talk to them about what they face.

Deforestation accelerates in Belize
Deforestation in Belize has accelerated since late 2010, reports a new satellite-based assessment of the tiny Central American country's forest cover by CATHALAC (the Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean). The analysis used NASA Landsat-7 imagery to compare forest cover between early 2010 and early 2012. It concludes that Belize's forest cover fell from 62.7 percent to 61.6 percent during the period, a decline of 25,264 hectares. The annual loss of 12,632 ha is more than a quarter higher than the rate observed between 1980 and 2010, when deforestation averaged around 10,000 ha per year. A technical report detailing the analysis will be released soon according to CATHALAC. A 2010 study by the group found that most deforestation between 1980 and 2010 occurred outside protected areas, where land is being converted for agriculture and plantations.

Tracking forest loss on the Guatemala-Belize border
The endemic border dispute between Guatemala and Belize is no longer the unique fuel that drives the two countries’ popularity.


Top
#444335 - 08/10/12 03:19 PM Re: Today's Belize News: August 10, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Diane Campbell Offline
U.S. Department of Treasury targets accused Belize-Based operatives of Chapo Guzman
On Tuesday, August 7th the U.S. Department of Treasury based in Washington, D.C. issued an unprecedented and very bold sanction via a press release against three prominent Belizean businessmen. The men, namely John Zabaneh, his nephew Dion Zabaneh and his alleged close business partner Daniel Moreno are singled out as being Belize’s key associates and Belize-based operatives of Joaquin “ El Chapo” Guzman Loera, who is linked to the Mexican-based Sinaloa Cartel. The statement came in shortly after 9AM after it was posted on the website of the U.S. Department of Treasury. The release states that, “The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today (August 7th) announced the designation of John Zabaneh and two members of his drug trafficking organization, who are based in Belize and are key associates of Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman Loera and other members of the Sinaloa Cartel. The action also includes the designation of five companies in Belize that are owned or controlled by John Zabaneh or members of his organization.” The actions by the U.S. Department of Treasury is in pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), which prohibits U.S. persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with the individuals and companies pointed out in the release and also freezes any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

***********

I think Uncle Sam needs to get it's agenda cleared up - are drugs ok or not.

IF NOT OK - arrest every person using or selling them in the US, prosecute and punish.
Further, provide decent educational opportunities to the youth, cultivate employment opportunities --- we can soon find out which came first, the ghetto (and thence the gangs) or the drugs. Methinks that whilst the drugs surely don't aid any efforts to get out of the ghetto, they did not cause the poverty that created them.
Do the above and Mr. Guzman will find another customer or will go out of business. Expensive - sure, but probably not as expensive as what is being done now outside the US.

IF OK - legalize, tax. Use the tax money to educate, and let people live the way they want to live.


As of today the results of this move against Mr. Zab are that 700 Belizean households went without a payday. Just how this benefits anybody other than the current politicos in the US is beyond me.

This approach is not smart, and it's not working.

(PS - I have never ever seen a good thing happen as a result of cocaine, which is I believe the drug that is the subject of this operation)



Top
#444354 - 08/11/12 12:43 AM Re: Today's Belize News: August 10, 2012 [Re: Diane Campbell]
Mike Campbell Offline
The problem I have is that he is being found guilty by decree. Loose all your assets without due process does not seems right to me.

Top

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