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#444977 - 08/22/12 01:47 PM Today's Belize News: August 22, 2012
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

Western Regional Hospital to be officially certified as Mother–Baby Friendly Hospital
The Ministry of Health and the United Nations Children’s fund (UNICEF) is pleased to announce that Western Regional Hospital is the latest hospital to have met the necessary international requirements to be certified as Mother – Baby Friendly Hospital. The Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin is especially proud of this achievement as Western Regional Hospital is the sixth hospital within the country to have met all criteria in the promotion, protection and support to successful breastfeeding. No private hospital has yet to achieve this certification. The Mother and Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (MBFHI) is a global program sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to encourage and recognize hospitals that offer an optimal level of care for infant feeding. Breastfed infants have a decreased risk of diarrhea, respiratory, ear infections, and allergic skin disorders among others. The MBFHI is an effort to ensure that all hospitals become centers for breastfeeding support. The maternity facility becomes “Baby Friendly” when it has successfully implemented 10 specific steps to support successful breastfeeding.

If we want to change our society, we need to report crime!
I am of the strong opinion that no crime is a perfect crime. When a crime is committed there is always someone other than the criminal that knows what has happened. Lately, there have been numerous burglaries in and around San Pedro Town and by all appearances it seems that our society has seen nothing. One of the most appalling acts was the break-in at the Lions’ Den a few weeks ago, and since then the burglaries continue; a dive shop almost opposite the Lions’ Den was burglarized, various businesses in the town core were burglarized as recently as this weekend, and even the office of the San Pedro Tourists Guide Association was broken into. The criminals storm into these places, break parts of the structure and without any regard for the hard working owners, they shamelessly walk away with the belongings of others, and they remain unreported. It is a fact that at one end of this criminal act is another part of our society, those that buy these stolen items without any consideration to the real owners or the law for that matter. There is also the part of society that just “don’t give a damn” and would see a crime committed and play as if they haven’t “seen or heard” anything. But then this is the same sector of society that cries and condemns the law enforcement agencies for not dismantling drug rings and wants to see the so called “crack heads” and “drug addicts” be dealt with. Well guess what? It will never happen as long as we as a society keep harboring these thieves. It will never happen until we stop buying those stolen items from the criminals who steal to support their addiction – or merely do so because they prefer it to an honest day’s work. And it will never stop as long as we don’t make it our goal to report any suspicious activity every single time we see something ‘fishy’ happening.

Ambergris Today

Vote for National Song Competition, September Celebrations
September is almost here and Belizeans from far and near will be celebrating the 31st Anniversary of our Independence and the 214th Anniversary of The Battle of St. George's Caye. The time has come once again for everybody to vote for their favorite National Song for this year’s September Celebrations. There are nine finalists in the patriotic song category, six finalists in the carnival song category and three junior entries. Finalists include M.I.K., Dennis Requena, Devon Jones, Nello Player, Noel Lee Castillo, Patrick McPherson, Leroy “Boss” Castillo, Timothy Martinez and Joseph Villafranco - for the patriotic finalists. For the carnival finalists there is TR Burgess, Mr. Program, Ray Good, Sharon Martinez, Salus Magaña and Boss Lady. For junior category there is Tara Gill, Bernard Cayetano and Morelia Pop. You can listen to all the song entries and then vote for your favorite at www.mynationalsong.bz. You are allowed to vote once for each song in all the different categories. So listen to them all and cast your vote on the ones you like.

Slovakian Accused of Ties with Mafia is Set Free in San Pedro
There are currently no criminal charges whatsoever pending against Mr. Karol Mello, an alleged crime boss in Central Europe, who was detained in July in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, due to extradition order issued by the Government of Belize and subsequent immigration charges brought forward by the Immigration Department. The month-long legal saga involving 42-year-old Karol Mello, since his detention in San Pedro, moved to the Belmopan Magistrate Court where it culminated on Monday, August 20, 2012, in the courtroom of Senior Magistrate Linsbert Willis. Two charges, perjury and uttering upon an invalid passport, levied upon Mello immediately following an order by Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall to have him set free on August 10, were subsequently withdrawn when he presented himself in court. The charge of uttering upon an invalid passport was dismissed by the magistrate and the prosecution withdrew the other charge of perjury.

Court Says Government Owes ACES for Riot Damages to Property
The Roses got a lawyer and sued the government for permitting a riot to ensue which destroyed their property. Under the Riot Compensation Act, the government is responsible for damages that arise during a riot. Supreme Court by Justice Oswell Legall agreed with the Rose's Attorney Agnes Segura - Gillett and found that the government is liable. Agnes Segura stated to the Belize City media that the court handed down its decision that there was a finding of a riot on that September 5, 2010. The Roses now still have to prove their case with regards as to how much will be awarded to them. The three structures that were destroyed included the Rose’s home and two guest houses that were used for students who came to study about crocodiles. They also had all of their household possessions destroyed, including vehicles. They are seeking about $907,000Bze plus in compensation. That determination is yet to be made as to how much would be awarded. What has been determined already is that the Rose's properties were destroyed as a result of a riotous assembly and that the government is responsible to pay compensation to the Rose's. According to Segura, "The whole reasoning behind the riots compensation act is that the state is deemed to be responsible to ensure that people's properties are safe - that people lives are safe and there were rumors beforehand that the villagers intended to go to burn down the sanctuary to look for the children there.” The police indicated that they did all they could to prevent the incident, but the Roses think otherwise.

Schools Receive Truckloads Of Landfill From Town Council
The San Pedro Town Council is delivering truckloads of white sand to most schools on the island, to those who need it. The work started yesterday, Monday, August 20, 2012, with the delivery of ten truck-loads (8 yards of sand each) to the New Horizon Academy compound in the Escalante Subdivision. Streets in the surrounding area of New Horizon were just recently upgraded to ensure that children were not walking through puddles each morning during their commute to school. The school yard was also in much need of land fill and the sand could not have come at a better time for New Horizon.

Belize in Prelimenary Stage of National Classification System For Hotels And Tour Operators
The Sustainable Tourism Program (STP) and the Quality Assurance Department at the BTB is in its preliminary stage of executing a “Belize National Classification System for Hotels and Tour Operators”. The system’s overall goal is to define realistic classifications with clear definitions and minimum standards as basic mandatory licensing requirements for each recommended class. “This is a great opportunity for Belize to take the lead in destination competitiveness,” stated Terry Wright, Tourism/Environment Project Coordinator at the STP. “The firm Tourism and Leisure Europraxis has been awarded the consultancy to develop a classification scheme for accommodation facilities and tour operators throughout the country based on international standards but adapted to the country’s reality. It is intended that the scheme will guide and incentivize the hotel and tour operator industry by promoting excellence as a national priority. It will also serve as a valuable marketing tool.”

Art in the Park – Arts and Craft Exhibition
San Pedro House of Culture presents “Art in the Park – Arts and Craft Exhibition” Thursday, August 30th and Friday, August 31st 2012 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. San Pedro Central Park Music by: Man at Work, Special C, Barry’s Cultural Band, MeloCat, Ras Tabu and Garifuna Drummers Artists: Papo, Terryl, Gomez, Kinishu, Linarez, Robby, Modesto, Chiquitin, Melody, Ricky, Dimas and many more.

Belize’s Obsession with Tacos
I have always heard that Orange Walk Town has the best tacos in Belize. My friends rave about them, I keep seeing posts on Facebook about how great they are and everybody who makes their way through the town seems to make a mandatory stop for tacos! I, for one, had only heard about the delicious Orange Walk tacos until a few weeks ago when I had them for the first time. Needless to say, they were delicious. And Belizeans are also used to having tacos for breakfast. Yes! Some people cannot function without a morning order of $3 dollar tacos, much like those who crave their Johnny Cakes, Fry Jacks or flour tortillas. I had been hearing about Neri’s Tacos for ages here in San Pedro, but never managed to make it to the small taco shop which probably whips out over 1,000 tacos every day. The small eatery gained so much popularity on the island that people waited in lines to get their favorite tacos for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Unfortunately a devastating fire burnt down their place about a year ago, but with much support from the community, they got back on their feet and opened back up.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Sunrise at Half Moon Caye
Sunrise Timelapse at Half Moon Caye, Lighthouse Reef, Belize. July 2012

Rice & Beans with Brown Rice
Rice and beans are a Belizean's staple food. Usually it's made with long grained white rice and red kidney beans. In this video Joe show us how to make this meal healthier, by using brown rice instead of white. As usual, this meal is exquisite because it's made with coconut milk.

Belize Youth Awards Nominations
Now is the time to nominate outstanding youths for the Belize Youth Awards. Nominations can be made until September 3rd. You can email them at yffbenque@gmail.com. Good luck to all youths! "The Belize Youth Award is a prestigious national honor bestowed on outstanding young Belizeans from age 15 to 29 who demonstrated high standards of achievement and commitment within their various fields. The categories are: Sports, medial, Citizenship, Arts and Culture, Mentally and Physically Challenged, Youth Ministers Entrepreneurship and Academic Excellence. The nominees come from all districts across the country. The targeted age cohort is representative of the group for which programs are planned and implemented by the Youth Department of Belize also known as Youth for the Future."

VIDEO: Hidden Valley MPR 4x4 Race
Here's the promo for the Hidden Valley 4x4 offroad race that is this Saturday, the 25th of August. It has some good shots of the rough terrain and off roading that the teams have to navigate through to win. Teams will have to complete 100 kilometers through Mountain Pine Ridge. See you there!

Caves Branch Botanical Gardens
Caves Branch has botanical gardens too. Been there yet? Cayo gets more attractions every month. "Have you been to our botanical Gardens? Its a beautiful place where you can learn about local flora and even see some fauna!"

Escandar Bedran Family Hotel Scholarship Recipient
Congratulations to Edmund Bennett, for receiving a scholarship to Sacred Heart Junior College, where he is pursuing a degree in Tourism Management. He is the first scholarship recipient. Thanks go out to the SIRH for implementing this scholarship. Good luck, Edmund! "Edmund Junior Bennett is the fourth of five children of Ms. Lydia Garcia (single parent) who is an employee of the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Edmund is pursuing tertiary level studies in Tourism at the Sacred Heart Junior College. The staff is excited to be mentors to this promising young man and has pledged to offer their guidance and full support."

Maybelline Launch in Cayo
Maria Estella teamed up with Maybelline to bring their product to Cayo. They had a launch party at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Will Moreno was there to take some amazing pictures of the event. "Maybelline New York Launch in San Ignacio, Cayo District of Belize. All photos by: Will Moreno Location: San Ignacio Hotel Myabelline Distributor and Sales in Belize: Maria Estella Recinos

Lucky Boy's Fund Raiser BBQ
Feelgood news of the day. The BBQ fund raiser for Lucky Boy, the jaguar rescued from the resort down south - which mysteriously burned to the ground last week - was fun and raised not only some much needed money, but raised awareness of Lucky Boy's plight. He should be fine. There are 5 days left to donate money online on indiegogo. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/187353 "Again, we all thank our Lucky Boy BBQ supporters for the splendid help on Saturday. The future for Lucky Boy is a bright one, thanks to such a magnificent show of caring solidarity!"

Channel 7

Opposition Leader Speaks On Bond Restructuring
By now, everyone knows that the government of Belize did not make the 46 million dollar Superbond payment that was due yesterday. International bondholders are up in arms, but there haven't been howls of protest on the domestic front because the debt restructuring team led by Economic Ambassador Mark Espat engaged the social partners - everyone from NTUCB to the Chamber to COLA - to explain what would happen before it happened. It seems everyone was invited to the party except the opposition. And that's why the PUP Party Leader seems to be in a sort of quandary: he wants to be consulted, but beyond that, he can hardly argue with the restructuring exercise; after all, the 543 million dollar Superbond comprises commercial debts incurred between 1999 to 2006 - and for most of that period, Fonseca was part of the Musa Administration. So, the original Superbond and now Superbond 2.0 is kind of cleaning up the mess made during the PUP's terms in office - and maybe that's why when we spoke to Fonseca today he was circumspect about the missed Superbond payment - but still demanded consultation:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "We have not been consulted at all on this matter. We have not been briefed at all on this matter as the 14 elected members of the opposition. As the leader of the opposition I have heard absolutely nothing from the Prime Minister or from anybody in the government on this matter. We have received no official briefing. What we know is what we heard from you on the television news or what we gather from the internet from the Central Bank website and that kind of thing."

Taiwanese Vice President Finishes Official Visit to Belize
Taiwanese Vice President Wu Den-yih concluded his three day official visit to Belize today. This afternoon at 1:00 his motorcade left for the Phillip Goldson International where he was greeted by members of the Taiwanese community. And while he had support from his people - from a media perspective, his official visit was relatively low profile - and 7news was the only independent media at the airport when he left. Minister of Foreign Affairs Sedi Elrington saw him off and we asked him what came out of the visit. Here's what he told Daniel Ortiz:.. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs "He has just boarded the plane and the last word that the ambassador said to me was that he was very happy. He thought that he had a very successful trip to Belize." Daniel Ortiz "Can you tell us a little bit about the meetings that you guys had as the top level ministers?" Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs "We had a very meeting really. It was really one of getting to know each other very briefly and then just to express our appreciation with the nature of the relationship which we had with Taiwan - we see it as a partnership whereby we assist them and we assist them in terms of their own conflict with China and the support we give them in the United Nations and other forum and they assist us in terms of our developmental programs.

Alleged Drug Traffickers To Court
Yesterday, 7News told you about the GSU raid on Kelly Street which led to the discovery a large quantity of marijuana. Today, the people who the officers busted with the drugs were taken to Magistrate's Court. According to GSU, they executed a search at a house located at #1 Kelly Street. Present at the time were the 3 residents, 29 year-old Latoya Price, 38 year-old Michelle Henry, and 41 year-old Francis Gill. The officers found a transparent plastic bag which contained 230 grams of cannabis inside the house, and as result, they were jointly charged with drug trafficking. Today, they were arraigned before Magistrate Aretha Ford where they all pleaded not guilty.

Foreign Minister: We Need More Extradition Treaties
Yesterday, we told you about the end of the saga to expel reputed Slovakian gangster Karol Mello. There has been no official explanation as to why the case was aborted so abruptly yesterday at the Belmopan Magistrate's Court. We asked Attorney General Wilfred Elrington about the case and what it means for future cases where other countries ask for criminals to be handed over to them - without a formal extradition treaty. Here's what he told us about the solution to that issue and what role the Office of the DPP played in yesterday's proceedings. Hon. Wilfred Elrington "The attorney general has no responsibility for the director of public persecutions. She really has kind of autonomy - she acts on her own advice really. I did not hear of it before you raise it with me. Actually I have not been listening to the news, so I would not be able to add to that." "What needs to happen is for us to enter into a treaty with all the countries that we can enter into treaties with which would allow for us to do that. Countries have to act with legal authority. Legal authorities is vested in countries through treaties, so what we will have to do is to try to expand the treaties that we have with those countries that we don't have treaties with for extradition. That's about all we could do."

PUP's UWG Urges Action Against Principal Willacey
School at Belmopan Baptist High starts on Friday and still the school management has not announced what it will do about Principal Norman Willacey. As has been well publicized - Willacey is being accused of an inappropriate relationship with a 16 year old student dating back to March of this year. And while the Management hems and haws, the PUP's United Women's Group has come out swinging. A release from that group says, quote: "The UWG finds this report against this individual very disturbing. At a time when our young people are faced with lack of opportunities and positive role models, those in positions of authority entrusted as the guardians of the welfare of our children and youth, must not betray this trust for their own selfish gratification." End quote. The UWG also calls on the Ministry of Education, the Belize Association of High School Principals, the Baptist Association of Belize and the Belize Council of Churches to deal with the matter decisively.

Leon Pinks: I Am No Criminal
Over the weekend, there was a shooting in Orange Walk Town, which left 2 men injured. They are 18 year-old Henry Lozano, and 24 year-old Juan Ku. According to police they were riding their bicycles on Santa Familia Street when a man rode up and fired several shots at them. Lozano suffered injuries to the left upper chest, left ribcage, the right hand and left forearm, while Ku suffered a single gunshot wound to the right rib cage. Police are investigating the matter, but yesterday, the Police Press Officer called the names of 2 men who were detained. For context, we'll air the section of that press conference from yesterday, in which Yearwood spoke of the incident. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "Police visited the Northern Regional Hospital where they Henry Javier Lozano, 18 years, suffering from gunshots wounds to the upper chest, left rib cage, right hand and left forearm. They also saw Juan Ku, 24 years, laborer of Orange Walk Town, suffering from a single gunshot wound to the right rib cage."

Poor 2012 C-SEC Grades
Every year we report on the PSE - and this year, it was about how the grades may be trending up - ever so slightly. But we haven't told you about the C-SEC, what used to be call the CXC exam for those finishing high school. All over the Caribbean - the results have raised alarms because only 33 per cent of the those sitting the Mathematics exam achieved Grades I - III. This is down from 35 percent in 2011, and 41 percent in 2010. That downturn was also evident in Belize where grades were down in English A, Mathematics and Principles of Accounts where the results were also down from the previous two years. We can't say down by how much, because the Ministry of Education has not provided comparative figures - nor has it disclosed what percentage of students passed and with what grade. But in Jamaica that figure is 31.7% - which has caused the Education minister in that country to point out that there is a gross deficiency in trained teachers.

Will Memorial Park Be Ready for September Celebrations?
Over the last couple months, the Fort Point Facelift, which is part of the Sustainable Tourism Project, has been underway, and the first phase of project is almost finished. But, the beginning of September Celebrations is only 3 weeks away, and if you've passed by the Memorial Park recently, you're probably thinking that it won't be ready in time for the ceremonies which are traditionally staged there. And it's kind of tough to even conceive of the Tenth Day Ceremony, the 20th night Flag Raising and other festivities being hosted anywhere else! So, today, we spoke to the project coordinator, and we asked if it will be ready in time. Here's what she told us: Christy Mastry, Sustainable Tourism Project "Right now we are kind of in the final phase prepping the front area the stage and plaza in front of the stage and some of the open space hardscapes for the September celebrations. As we know it's been on everybody's mind - will it be ready and the answer is yes. As you can see the stage is well underway. We'll be putting roofing structure and the actual corrugated metal later this week. We have electricity running temporary through the park but we will have the stage electrified by September 9th celebrations for everything that will be happening on the stage and you can see we can walk through later on and you can take some video of the red brick pavers that will be going in as well as the concrete slab that's in front to accommodate over 200 seated guests under the tent that we have on the 9th ceremonies during the day."

2012 September Celebrations Calendar
And so, the park will be ready for September ninth - but not before that - meaning that a few of the events which are usually staged there will now be moved to other locations. The September Celebrations Calendar was released yesterday and it features all of the usual official events such as the official launch of the Celebrations on September second at St. George's Caye. But the fun begins before that - with the National Patriotic and Carnival Song Competition on this Saturday, August 25th at the MCC Grounds. Co-Chair of the Celebrations Commission Dianne Haylock outlined some of the more festive events for us:.. Dianne Haylock, Co-Chair of the Celebrations Commission "The first activity really is the national song competition which takes place this coming Saturday at the MCC Grounds; that is the national patriotic and carnival song competition. People have made their submissions in the patriotic category as well as the carnival category. That includes juniors and seniors. So that takes place at 7 this Saturday 25th August at MCC Grounds."

Black Guaybera Concert To Finish School Tour
It is called the Strong Youth Tour - and it features some of Belize's most talented artists. Since May 29, artists such as Nello Player, Jenko Veli, Denise and Jackie Castillo along with poets from Youth Voices have been staging concerts at schools countrywide. But they'll take it to the big stage on September 1st, when the tour hits the big stage at the BTL Park in a concert called the Black Guayabera, Strong Youth Concert. Today 7news sat down with a couple of the artists who explained the tour to us and spoke a bit about next weekend's concert. Jenko Veli, artist "The tour is collaboration between Pocono Boy and Global Parish, so far it's been extremely successful. We put together the tour and so far we've made it to E.P. Yorke, ACC, Wesley College, St. Catherine's and we intend to head out district to play for other schools." "The tour includes myself, Nello Player and will soon include Denise and Jackie Castillo all bank by the live band "Remaining"."

Channel 5

GSU and 20 Crooked Tree residents clash
There is an alarming report coming from Crooked Tree tonight. At least twenty persons are claiming that they were brutalized and violated by the Gang Suppression Unit. The alleged abuse went so far that one of the victims says he was peppered sprayed on his private parts when the GSU went on a wild rampage, [...]

Baptist won’t make decision on principal’s sex scandal soon enough
The mother of the sixteen year old girl who was in a relationship with the principal of the Baptist High School met with the Baptist Board on Saturday. The outcome of the meeting was not what she expected. Instead of finding comfort that the pastor and counselor would in the least be suspended, the board [...]

Mother of 16 year old minor wants campaign to change age of consent
Late this evening the People’s United Party’s women’s group also sent a release regarding the situation. It says, “the People’s United Party is appalled by the recent reports of sexual misconduct of adult men with minors, by persons in positions of trust and authority; and in particular by the matter involving the Principal and Pastor [...]

Shake your tail feather; chicken price gone up!
Two dollars and thirty eight cents would have bought you a pound of chicken on Monday, but not today; the price for the favorite protein on dinner tables is now two dollars and forty-eight cents per pound. It is anticipated that the increase in chicken prices will be across the board; for Quality Poultry Products, [...]

Does Superbond nonpayment economically impacts your life?
Tonight’s question is: Do you think that the non-payment of the super bond will have an economic impact on your life? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at channel5belize.com. You can also send an email with your comments to questions@channel5belize.com.

Superbond restructure talks resound locally and internationally
Locally, the private sector says it is in favor of the restructuring of the Superbond and that the government must pay its debts. The opposition has asked the prime minister the nation and says it wasn’t consulted when the government decided not to pay the twenty-three million US dollar coupon. But internationally, the Superbond continues [...]

Croc Couple sues government under Riot Act and wins
Two years after their crocodile sanctuary was destroyed by an angry mob, Vincent and Cherie Rose are rebounding. The couple lost everything when their property was set on fire in Toledo when two children, who were never found, disappeared without a trace. The Roses moved to San Pedro to pick up the pieces and rebuilt [...]

Gift of Life saving heart surgery for kids
A month ago we told you about the successful open heart surgeries carried out by Dr. Adrian Coye at the K.H.M.H; they were the first in the history of Belize. Well, Dr. Coye has done it again; with the assistance of Dr. Paul Chai of the U.S.A, he carried out three successful pediatric heart surgeries. [...]

Volleyball team gets bronze medal and advances
The Belize Senior Women’s Volleyball Team returned on Monday from the World Championship Qualification Tournament, held in Panama City. And they didn’t come back empty handed; the team placed third and brought home the bronze trophy, a first for the country in female volleyball. According to the coach and President of the Belize Volleyball Association, [...]

Black Guayabera Tour goes to school
Black Guayabera is the unusual name for a concert that takes place next weekend in Belize City. It is being staged by Jenko Veli whose music has been capturing the essence of a decadent society. Veli’s message was inspired by the grim daily news which he has turned around to bring positive vibes to vulnerable [...]

Who will be the next Superstar?
Be the Next Superstar, starts within an hour live from the Bliss in downtown Belize City. The show has taken the town by storm and if you won‘t be a part of the live audience then sit back and get ready for tonight’s episode and follow it either on streaming video or by posting your [...]

LOVE FM

Corozal Police Investigate Hit and Run
Another man lost his life in a hit and run accident, but this time it occurred further along the Northern Highway in Ranchito Village in the Corozal District. According to police, they visited the scene between Miles eighty one and eighty two on the Northern Highway where they sa...

City Councilor Proposes Plan for Enforcement in the City
Belize City Councilor, Philip Willoughby, has come up with a plan which he will present to Mayor Darrel Bradley and his fellow Councilors on how to better streamline the business of the Council. Willoughby shared his plan with Love News today. He said that in order for serv...

Fatal Hit and Run In Ladyville
A man was killed in a traffic accident in Ladyville on Friday night shortly before eight o’clock. Police investigations revealed that fifty eight year old Ruperto Alvarez of Barrier Reef Crescent in Ladyville was crossing the road heading toward the Shell One Stop Gas Stati...

PUP's United Women's Group Comments on Recent Reports of Sexual Misconduct
On Monday the Ministry of Education issued a statement on allegations of an inappropriate relationship between the Principal of the Belmopan Baptist High School, Norman Willacy and a student under his care. Today the United Women’s Group of the People’s United Party i...

Gang Suppression Unit Accused of Police Brutality
Some residents of Crooked Tree village are alleging that they were victims of brutality under the Gang Suppression Unit. Reporter Patrick Jones is in the village and filed the following report. PATRICK JONES Senior News Reporter Love FM “Residents of Crooked...

Father of Two Killed on His Steps
A father of two young children was executed on Sunday night in Belize City. Thirty-three year old Felix Godoy, also known as “Munchie” was shot dead while sitting on the back steps of his house at 6572 Corner Doris Brooks Street and Boots Crescent. The employee ..

LOVE TV

Murder in the Belize city
Marion Ali reports on the city murder. A family is looking for answers following the execution of their loved one in a brutal attack on Sunday night in Belize City. Reporter Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo went looking for answers.

Galen’s Graduation
Galen’s Graduates marches up. On Sunday the San Ignacio Resort was the venue for the graduation ceremonies for Galen University. Certificates were presented to seventy graduates who pursued studies at the Associates, Bachelor and Master’s Degree levels. At the start of Sunday’s graduation, Dr. Lydia Balderamos Loskot was introduced as the University’s new interim President. Dr. Loskot told the graduates that Galen University continues to play a key role affording higher education to all Belizeans. Keynote speaker at yesterday’s graduation, Minister of Education Patrick Faber said that he and his ministry have high confidence in Galen University to provide a solid, higher education to all who enroll in its programs. The Minister used a big part of his presentation to encourage the graduates to keep reaching for their dreams. Also during yesterday’s graduation, a honorary Doctor of Philosophy degree was conferred on Senator Godwin Hulse.

Flowers Bank headed to national women’s championship
The twenty second National Women’s Softball Championship is set to take place this coming weekend in Belize City. It will feature teams from Belize City, Cayo and Belize River Valley area. One of the proud participants in the competition is the team from Flowers Bank, who after several years as runner up the Belize Rural competition, this year prevailed against Sand Hill to claim the championship. Margaret Lockwood is the team pitcher and the driving force behind the team that’s headed to the big stage this weekend. The National Women’s Softball Championship will be played at the Roger’s Stadium in Belize City. The competition is headed by Tournament Director Edison Parks, assisted by Jerjett Thompson. The Umpire in Chief for the games is Joel Westby.

Robbery in the Belize Red Cross building
Two years ago someone set fire to the Belize Red Cross headquarters building on Handyside Street and caused severe damages to the structure, equipment and supplies for the needy. Now the organization is reeling from yet another attack. This time, it was thieves who broke into the building over the weekend and who managed to escape police detection because they entered through the roof of the building. Director General of the Belize Red Cross, Lily Bowman, said that the burglars removed equipped worth around thirty-five thousand dollars. Red Cross officials made the distressing discovery when they showed up for work today. The crafty thieves did not stir any attention because of the way they entered the building. This is the third time in recent memory that the Belize Red Cross has suffered at the hands of criminals. Bowman says that just last week the building was targeted again by someone who was caught helping himself to food from the kitchen, and she feels that they are being deliberately targetted. While the setback will significantly delay the work of the organization, their major setback is the loss of the records stored on the computers that were stolen.

Over the weekend killing and drugs
Sunday night’s murder of Felix Godoy is not the only incident that the police have on their hands. At their regular Monday morning conference, Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, shed some light into a shooting that occurred early on Saturday morning in Orange Walk Town. There was also a drug bust last Friday, according to Yearwood, during which a stash of cocaine weighing almost eight pounds was confiscated from a vehicle on the Northern Highway an five persons were charged with drug trafficking. There was also a stabbing incident in Punta Gorda Town, as Yearwood informed. There were other unofficial reports reaching our various newsrooms of incidents that Yearwood could not, for lack of information, confirm.

The Muslim celebration known as Ramadan comes to an end
The Muslim celebration known as Ramadan ended on Sunday. Muslims in Belize joined over a billion of their brothers and sisters around the world in observing the thirty days of fasting. During the observance of Ramadan Muslims refrain from eating food or drinking water during daylight hours, or typically from four in the morning until six thirty in the evening. Ramadan ended on Sunday with the spotting of the new moon, and a joyous celebration marking the breaking of the fast was held at the Mosque on Central American Boulevard. Iman Kaleem El-Amin conducted the prayers at the Eid al-Fitr. The annual observance of Ramadan is regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam.

The welfare of employees of Belize Sugar Industries
Last Friday we reported on new developments within the Belize Workers Union, the Union looking after the welfare of employees of Belize Sugar Industries. The newly elected Chairman of Union,… told Love News there are a number of issues to be taken up with the factory’s management. Reporter Arturo Cantun has the story.

Taiwan’s VP visits Belize
The vice president of the Republic of China, Taiwan Wu Den-yih is in on an official visit to Belize. Vice president Wu arrived at the Phillip Goldson International Airport on Saturday morning at the tail end of a twelve day visit to Latin America. During a press conference and speaking through an interpreter, vice president Wu said Belize and Taiwan share a lot in common. On hand to welcome VP Wu to Belize on Saturday morning were Governor General Sir Colville Young and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfed Elrington. This morning vice president Wu traveled to Belmopan for a meeting with Prime Minister Dean Barrow.

PlusTV

Unions unhappy, give GOB deadline to seal the deal!
Representatives of three of the more influential unions appeared on Rise and Shine this morning to publicize their ...

PlusNews interviews Ministry of Education on Willacey Accusations
The fallout of the Norman Willacey scandal has very serious implications. And although PLusnews has had some diffic...

Attorney Arthur saldivar responds to Gentry Allegations
Attorney at Law Arthur Saldivar is no stranger to the media. He has been in the political lime light and he has rep...

Mega Bingo gives Four- year scholarships; recants after One year
On June 3rd of last year, ten primary school students entering high school were awarded tuition scholarships by J.D...

More Training for Women interested in Politics
The Belize Women Political Caucus (BWPC) held a one-day retreat on Saturday, August 18, in Dangriga. Participating ...

Emerson Trapp receives 5 years for firearm offences
Emerson Trapp of Belize City has received a 5 year sentence. The 25 year old was convicted of firearms offences in ...

GSU arrest and charge Eight for drug Trafficking
Eight persons were arrested and charged with drug trafficking after GSU raided a yard they were in. Last week Wedne...

Teacher accused of fondling two little girls
A school teacher is facing a charge of indecent assault against two little girls. The 32 year old teacher has been ...

Two men on bikes shot in Orange Walk Town.
Two men were shot in Orange Walk. On Saturday night, 18 year old Henry JAVIER LOZANO and 24 year old Juan Ku were r...

Belize Women's volleyball team wins Bronze
Last week Tuesday, the Belize Senior Women's Volleyball Team travelled to Panama City to compete as part of Group G...

Amandala

Driver sleeping in truck murdered for $3,000
Fernando Quib, 33, a truck driver from San Vicente village in Toledo, was killed in Orange Walk Town on Thursday after being shot several times in what is believed to be an armed robbery. Police said [...]

$25,000 worth of cocaine found floating at sea
Twelve packs of pure cocaine weighing around 25 kilograms were handed over to the Dangriga police at the Stann Creek Town pier by the Belize Coast Guard in Dangriga around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 19. [...]

Youth and murder statistics
To date in 2012 there have been 92 murders, exceeding the record paces set at this point in 2010 and 2011, when there were 131 and 123 murders, respectively, for the entire year. After eight consecutive [...]

Veteran football star Ruperto passes away
We received the shocking news yesterday that early on Friday night, former football star of the 1970’s Ruperto “Puerto” Alvarez, known in his prime as the “Frogman” because of his acrobatic performances in goal for a number of top rated football teams in the Belize City 1st Division competition, had passed away as a result of a hit and run accident on the Northern Highway. Our sincere condolences from the sports desk to the family of our football brother, Ruperto “the Frogman” Alvarez. R.I.P.

Keith still “Superman,” Tuff E Nuff wins IBL Championship
The game 5 postponement and additional rest due to the threat from Tropical Storm Ernesto may have favored the veteran legs of Tuff E Nuff’s Keith “Superman” Acosta, who was a monster on the boards for [...]

Belize Volleyball wins Bronze
The Belize Senior Women’s Volleyball Team won Bronze at the World Championship Qualification Tournament, Group G, held in Panama City, Panama this past weekend. This is a first for Belize’s [...]

Editorial: A debt of gratitude
Today, Monday, August 20, the Belize government was due to make a $46 million coupon payment on the Super Bond. But one week ago they indicated to the bondholders and the world, via press release, that they would not be able to make the payment. A couple weeks ago, the government had laid out three different restructuring scenarios to the bondholders – this, after months of consultations. The bondholders balked; they found the proposed scenarios disappointing. They were not going to voluntarily come to the table, it seems. But once the government announced they could not pay, and in fact do not pay today, the bondholders, we believe, will have to relent and come to the negotiating table. They cannot run the risk of not getting anything, as would essentially be the case in the event of an official default. Today’s non-payment does not constitute a default. That would be so constituted in 30 days, by September 19, just in time for our Independence anniversary, if the government and a majority of the bondholders fail to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Both sides cannot court failure, so the ensuing 30 days will be a poker match, a test of steely nerves.

From The Publisher
Bob Marley flew from Kingston, Jamaica, to Wilmington, Delaware in February of 1966, the day after marrying Rita Anderson Marley. Bob’s mother, Cedella, had migrated to Delaware, was married there, and had been pressuring her son to leave Kingston. When the U.S. Army tried to draft him for the Vietnam War in October of that year, however, Nesta went home immediately. There were many young men from Belize (as from Jamaica and other Caribbean islands), nevertheless, who felt that going back home was a waste of time, and they decided to try their luck with Uncle Sam. Throughout human history, the military has been an institution which offers opportunities for brave young men from the base of the social pyramid. In America in the mid-1960s, my generation saw that first hand when the mighty America began to scramble to get bodies for the rice paddies in Southeast Asia. Bob Marley’s decision to return home to poverty-stricken Jamaica, incidentally, was not a problem with bravery. Bob Marley was a tough guy on the Kingston streets, which are as tough as they come. He had a street fighter reputation from youth. This column is not about Bob Marley, It is about how successful black men have been in the Yucatán area going way back to the middle of the sixteenth century, with the military (militias) being the most notable vehicle for their upward mobility, as documented in the research of Penn State professor Matthew Restall.

Unemployment rate, 14.4%, highest on record in 14 years
Half the labor force not literate, survey says BELIZE CITY, Mon. Aug. 20, 2012 The latest labor force survey indicates that unemployment rates have surpassed the record set in 1998, meaning that they are the highest [...]

Vincent and Cherie Rose sue GOB for destroyed ACES property
In September of 2010, villagers of San Marcos, Toledo District, out searching for missing children Benjamin and Onelia Rash, were convinced that American couple Vincent and Cherie Rose, who operated the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary, ACES, just outside of Punta Gorda Town, had something to do with their disappearance. As a result, the home and business of the Roses, now based in Ladyville, was burnt to the ground, forcing them to relocate, but the children have never been found. The couple has sued the Government of Belize, charging that they lost $907,380.71 in property including buildings, household possessions, and vehicles, because police failed to ensure that the situation with the rioters did not escalate to the point where the aggrieved villagers felt they had to take justice into their own hands, leading to the loss of that property. Attorney representing the Roses, Agnes Segura-Gillett, said that the suit, heard by Supreme Court Justice Oswell Legall, was filed to determine both the issue of liability and compensation. On the matter of liability, the applicants had to prove that a riotous assembly as defined in the Riots Compensation Act, Cap. 338 of the Laws of Belize, occurred – that is, persons were assembled with the purpose of committing a riot as defined in the Criminal Code, and if such liability was proven, then the matter of compensation would be determined.

Jessel Lauriano crowned Miss Earth Belize 2012 – 2013
A new Miss Earth Belize was crowned Saturday night at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, and she is Jessel Lauriano. A total of four contestants — Katalina Jones, Claudia Lara, Jessel Lauriano, and Idolly Saldivar, vied for the coveted title, with the winner to represent Belize in Bali, Indonesia. Jessel was the third of the four contestants to step onto the stage, and when she did, she did so with great confidence, displaying her costume made of environmentally friendly materials, including coconuts. Idolly also came out strong in the beginning, and immediately, it was clear that the fight for the crown would be between these two contestants. After the introductions of the judges, the women then strutted onto the stage in lovely aqua-colored bathing suits, modeling like experts and showcasing their toned bodies.

Beleaguered Red Cross hit again, this time by burglars
$35,000 in equipment and invaluable information lost. Volunteer relief organization the Belize Red Cross Society was badly hit by a “malicious” arson on its Gabourel Lane headquarters on December 2, 2010, which wrecked much of the inside of the building and destroyed much of the organization’s equipment and some relief supplies. The Society has been able to rebuild, but burglars managed to defeat their security procedures and make off with $35,000 in invaluable equipment for the organization early Sunday morning, August 19. The Police Department has yet to provide official details, but director of the Society, Lily Bowman, told us this afternoon that the security firm they hired after the 2010 arson, Elite Security, reported that they received an alarm at their headquarters around 2:55 a.m. Sunday, and called the police. Apparently, the police responded and circled the area, but saw nothing obviously amiss, and none of the Red Cross staff was alerted.

Felix Godoy, 33, shot to death on house step
A man was executed in his yard, at the corner of Doris Brooks Street and Boots Crescent in the city’s southside, and his family is mourning his death and trying to understand why he was killed. Felix Godoy, Jr., 33, was sitting on the back step of his family’s house around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 19, when a gunman ran into the yard and shot him in his head and body, killing him almost immediately. The gunman then ran out and escaped into the surrounding area. Police were called by the alarmed neighbors, and after processing the scene, Godoy’s body was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. He was then taken into the morgue, where he is now awaiting a post-mortem. The murder occurred shortly after a meeting was held by the police with men in the area, called after the murder of Kirk Hemmans, 16, which occurred around 10:30 p.m. on Monday, August 13. Police had declared that the shooting was gang related.

Bert Vasquez stabbed in “minor incident” at Kolbe
Amandala has confirmed that accused murderer/sex offender Bert Haylock Vasquez, 28, was on Friday involved in what prison officials claim was a “minor scrape” that resulted in his being stabbed on Friday morning, August 17. Vasquez is charged with the murder of Jasmine Lowe, 13, and sixteen other unrelated charges of common assault and similar charges based on reports from female minors in the San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town area that he was attempting to solicit them. We were unable to confirm the exact circumstances of the incident, as senior prison officials have officially declined comment. However, we are told that the incident was so minor that “it would not cause a blink of an eye” if it were another inmate – and presumably not Vasquez – that was involved.

Blogs

Hooray for laundry
I have never loved doing laundry so much as the first few washes after being without a machine for 2 weeks, cancel that it was really when we got a machine here after living without for a year that tops the chart ha ha. Thanks to David the cute washing machine guy that Walter recommended, we have laundry again. He was magically able to fix the trouble. I say magically because I was watching what he was doing while I worked and I know washing machines can be a giant can of worms. Also the fact that this was repair guy number 2 and he did not hang up the phone on me after promising to call and come over the next morning right after I told him no one would be home, like the Raul did. David definitely qualified for brownie points. 2 of my guy friends said I was bad for telling them he was cute, I replied back that he got even cuter as soon as the machine was fixed and immediately called Paul at work to tell him give David a tip when he paid. Our net has been down since last night so this morning I decided to do 2 worthwhile things – back up my laptop to my Samsung external hard drive and my Kingston data travelers and do a natural hair treatment I saw on Pinterest. It called for olive oil and honey, I substituted coconut oil. Earlier this week I did the same and used coconut oil with an egg yolk and water. I liked the feeling of the honey one more afterward, but can tell I need the protein from the egg, will try all 3 together and see what I get.

Some Random Tulum, Mexico: The Town, The Secret Garden, The Food, The Crafts, The Skulls and Some Diving Information
My pictures from yesterday prove it to be true: the beach in Tulum is just over the top glorious. Perfection. Day Two wasn't so bad either... Lodging is plentiful in this area of Mexico. There are tons of very cute hotels on the beach. You can camp or rent a sand floor, wind cooled cabana or stay at a high end boutique eco-lodge...you've got lots of options. But I really love to stay in town. And I'm back at my favorite: The Secret Garden Tulum. Lovely clean basic rooms surrounding...well...a secret garden. Or not so secret...in the morning and evening, guests are usually lounging under the trees on the comfy couches. And the price is fantastic. Check them out on Facebook, they've got lots of great deals. Most of the town dwellers are locals and there are plenty of old style houses...and many more modern. That's my turn off... Lots of local food vendors, carts, bicycles... You can grab tacos el pastor from a vendor or a small local restaurant. Antojito's about one block south of the bus station is my fave. (This brown conic depiction doesn't do the food justice...this place is always packed. And closed on Sundays) Cheap, simple, here is a glistening pile of pastor I'd like to take home... I love the stone pig bowls they serve the five critical taco condiments in (from huge bowl to smallest): habanero hot sauce, runny guacamole sauce, chopped onions and cilantro, shredded cabbage and carrot in lime and lime wedges. ($1 USD is about $13 pesos right now.) I like the gringas best...flour tortilla with a bit of cheese. 2-3 of any of these will make a hearty dinner. You've really got to try this place. Some other restaurants and stores while walking on the main street...



Edited by Marty (11/17/12 03:53 PM)

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#444978 - 08/22/12 01:48 PM Re: Today's Belize News: August 22, 2012 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

International Sources

Worse-Than-Argentina Debt Offer Rejected by Belize Bondholders
Belize is offering bondholders 20 cents on the dollar in a debt restructuring, worse than what Argentina gave creditors following its 2001 default, according to Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) and Citigroup Inc. Investors are wagering that a better offer is coming. Belize, the Central American nation that’s home to the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere, missed a $23 million coupon payment yesterday on $544 million of dollar bonds due in 2029. The government is unlikely to make the payment during a 30-day grace period, Finance Secretary Joseph Waight said in an interview. While the bonds are trading at 35 cents on the dollar, Scotiabank says the government’s three proposals to restructure the debt give the securities a net present value of about 20 cents, the least among 16 sovereign debt restructurings since 1998. Belize’s offer “is not a haircut, it’s a scalping,” said Arturo Porzecanski, a professor of international finance at American University in Washington. “It puts Belize in the same league as the most punishing restructurings in sovereign history.”

Moody's Revises Belize Outlook to Negative
Moody's Investors Service revised its outlook on Belize's ratings to negative from developing, after the Central American government failed to make a payment on its bonds maturing 2029. Belize currently has a foreign currency rating of Ca, which denotes highly speculative credit. The outlook revision comes a day after Belize's government failed to make an interest payment, giving the government and its lenders until Sept. 19 to agree on a restructured bond. Belize is in talks with investors to negotiate how to restructure the country's only bond, however the creditors haven't agreed to the country's proposal that includes either forgiving 45% of what they are owed, or delaying payments for 15 years. The missed payment prompted fellow ratings firm Standard & Poor's to lower Belize's rating to selective default from double-C. Both Moody's and S&P have issued several downgrades on Belize this year, citing concerns about the possibility of another debt restructuring there.

Ratings agencies see steep losses on Belize superbond
Ratings agencies said on Tuesday holders of Belize's so-called superbonds would likely face severe losses on their investments after the country missed an interest payment this week and has made little headway on talks about debt restructuring options. Belize said it hoped to reach a deal with bondholders by the end of the year but could not afford to service the loan after a step-up in the interest rate to 8.5 percent pushed a regular interest payment scheduled for Aug. 20 up to $23.5 million. In response to the missed payment, Standard & Poor's cut Belize's foreign currency sovereign credit ratings to selective default and estimated bondholders would recover 30 to 50 percent of principal on the bonds. Moody's changed the outlook on Belize's ratings to negative and said investors would probably have to absorb losses of 70 to 80 percent in net present value terms. Belize has a final deadline of Sept. 19 to pay the coupon but a senior finance ministry official said it was unclear whether the Central American country would pay or default.


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