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WEEKLY WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR BELIZE
Valid: Monday-Monday, Nov. 19-26, 2012

A high pressure ridge over the Gulf of Mexico and the NW Caribbean will keep a mild and stable northerly airflow over Belize today through Monday. A surge of cool air from the continental USA will energize the high pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico during the next 48 hours. This will favor the mild conditions to persist during most of this week.

The forecast model is picking up a surface trof in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico and the extreme NW Caribbean. This trof will drift SW over Yucatan and Belize by late Tuesday, pulling in some moisture and showers over central and northern Belize by Tuesday evening and early Wednesday. Some of these showers will drift inland on Wednesday.

Otherwise, showers will be confined mostly to the sea and some areas of the central and northern coastal region during the working week.

No tropical cyclone is expected to form over or move into the Caribbean region during the next five to seven days.

Rainfall rates over the sea and coastal regions of Belize will be ranging from 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch Monday through Friday in light to moderate showers and periods of rain. Late Tuesday and Wednesday will be the period for the highest probability of rainfall especially along the central and northern areas of the mainland and coastal regions.

Weekly Outlook for the Cayo District
Expect a mix of sunshine and cloudy spells, with cool, night-time temperatures, ranging from lower 60s in the Mountain Pine Ridge to the mid and upper 60s in the valley areas of the upper Belize River Valley and the Belmopan area. The period with the highest probability of showers is Tuesday evening, Wednesday and early Thursday, occurring especially along the NE foothills of the elevated terrain. Otherwise, the weather will be fair with little rainfall this working week and over the coming weekend in most places.

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The San Pedro Sun

John McAfee offers Bze$25,000 for information leading to the arrest of Faull’s murderer
Anti-virus founder John McAfee, who is wanted for questioning by the police is offering a BZE$25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the person(s) responsible for the murder of US National Gregory Faull. According to NBC Dateline correspondent Keith Morrison, who is currently on Ambergris Caye, McAfee called him this morning (Sunday, November 18th) and during the telephone interview McAfee not only offered the reward but claimed that he is at his home here on the island, and not in hiding. In an interview today with The San Pedro Sun, Morrison said, “One of the claims he [McAfee] is making, and I challenged him on a good many of those claims, is that he does not have any intention of giving himself up, not now not ever.” Morrison reiterated that McAfee continues to have no faith in the Belize Police Department, even when he is being offered to turn himself in with his attorney and television cameras. “He is fixated on the notion that the police and the political establishment of the police are unbelievably corrupted and there is nothing he can do except stay in hiding,” said Morrison.

Letter to the Editor: Saga Humane Society says THANK YOU!
Saga Humane Society’s 9th Annual Halloween Party and Fundraiser was held on Sunday, October 28th in Central Park. Saga wishes to thank each and every person and business who helped us make this event a super success! We did our best to include everyone who donated merchandise, food, or time to help Saga with this event. Please let us know right away if we need to add you (and please forgive us). Thank you! Fabulous Prize Donations (Auction, Raffle, Giveaways & Contests): Black Orchid Restaurant, Bed & Breakfast, Blue Water Grill, Caliente’s Restaurant, Captain Sharks, Casa Picasso Restaurant, Changes in Latitudes, Chuck & Robbie’s Dive Shop, Cindy from Asian Gardens Spa, Conch Creative Photography, Coral Cable, Crazy Canuck’s Beach Bar, D&E’s Frozen Custard and Sorbet, Owners Eileen and Dan Jamison, Denny’s Truck Stop and Donut Shop, Owner Ms. Dulce Wolfe, Dive Instructor Eddie Alamilla, El Divino Restaurant at Banana Beach, Elvi’s Kitchen, Estel’s, Go Fish Belize, Heather Beck, Hidden Treasures Restaurant, Hurricanes Ceviche Bar & Restaurant, Indigo Beach Homes, Island Resorts and Carts Belize, Jamila and Jim Janmohamed, Kakaw Chocolate, La Isla Bonita Golfcart Rentals, Leslie’s Salon, Lick’s Cafe, Lynn (niece of Forrest Jones), Mambo Chill Boutique, Mary Maykuth, Moncho’s Golfcart Rental, Oceanfront Suites. Palapa Bar & Grill, Pampered Paws Grooming and Pet Store, Phoenix Resort, Picasso Spirits – Ms. Jean Allred, Quan’s Boutique, Red Ginger Restaurant, Roadkill Bar, Seaduced by Belize, Searious Adventures, Sea Turtle, Squirrels Nest Bar at Mata Rocks, Sunbreeze Hotel, Sunbreeze Suites, Tamara Sniffin & The San Pedro Sun, Teacher Lisa, The Palms, Tim and Sandy Dorion, Traveller’s Rum & Spirits, Tropic Air, Victoria House, Wahoo’s Lounge, Wayo’s Beach Bar, Wet Willy’s Cantina, Wing’s Department Store and Xanadu.

Doctor Love: Flawed Love
Dear Doctor Love, I have had the same guy for several years and we get along well and most of the time things are great between us. The time that it is not great is when we argue. It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does it is very hard on me. If we [...]

Woofer: Jury Duty
Wires get crossed during jury duty after a particularly intense line of questioning.

Misc Belizean Sources

Miss Belize Crowned Miss Ethnic World
A big congratulations to Miss Destinee Arnold, who won the Miss Ethnic World pageant last night. She won quite a few awards. "Not only was Miss Belize Destinee Dominique Arnold crowned Miss Ethnic World International 2013 last night in Southern California, but she was also named Best in Evening Gown, Best in Athletic Wear, Best in Interview, and Top 5 in Cultural Expression for her poem and dance Indigenous Me - The Year of the Maya."

Blogs

Moon's Living Abroad in Belize: Review & Free Book Give-Away
A few weeks ago, I was asked to write a review of the Moon Guide's newest edition of "Living Abroad In Belize" by author Victoria Day-Wilson. Well...she didn't ask, the publisher did. The author owns property on the mainland and has been living in and travelling Belize since 2006. Will I read it and tell you what I think? Of course! I love travel guides and I also happen to live abroad in Belize. Therefore I am super qualified. I provided my oh so simple address...Rebecca, General Delivery, San Pedro, Belize and waited patiently for my free copy. I read it cover to cover in two days and...here is what I think. This book is very helpful and informative if you are even thinking of moving to Belize. Tons of maps, historical information, information on schools, employment, permits, flora and fauna, the food, etiquette (I'm still a bit startled every day when I am called Miss Rebecca), places where expats congregate, I honestly can't think of something the author didn't cover. Seriously. And I looked hard. There is even a large resource section at the end that I've already flipped to a few times in the last few weeks: conversion tables, basic phrases in Spanish, blog listings (I'm in there!), suggested reading and tons of phone listings and addresses. Things that really stuck out to me? Ms. Day-Wilson did a really good job of tackling the stickier issues and questions...like not being surprised if you hear the grocer at your local store called "china man" or (more frequently used on the island) "chiney". It's not an insult. Or straight talk about crime and safety. Or Belizeans' views towards foreigners. I think she was pretty spot on. And gives you a good idea what to expect.

Happy Garifuna Settlement Day 2012!
Wawansera Memeba Lau Lubafu Bungiu Hama Ahari! We Keep Going Forward with the Power of God and the Ancestors We all join the entire country of Belize today to take some time out to celebrate the arrival of the Garifuna people, or Garinagu, to the shores of Belize. Belize would not be the Belize that we know and love if it wasn’t for the many contributions of the Garifuna, and their proud history of one of the most interesting and enduring sagas humanity has known, beginning with a fateful shipwreck off St Vincent’s Island in the Caribbean in the 1600s, when surviving African slaves made it to shore and mixed with the local Arawak, or Carib, population. When England won control of St Vincent after the Treaty of Paris in 1763, it began trying to subdue the islanders with what became known as the Carib Wars. After the death of their leader, Joseph Chatoyer, the Caribs surrendered to the British in 1796, who then separated the more ethnically African people they called Black Caribs from the Amerindian or Red Caribs and, in 1797 deported them to the island of Roatán off the coast of Honduras. Less than half of the five thousand exiles are said to have survived, making their way to the mainland and spreading up and down the coast, building villages and steadfastly preserving their language and culture. Garifuna women were said to have hidden cassava in their clothing during the voyage from St Vincent’s, and the rootstock of those plants ensured the survival of the Garinagu and supply gardens today.

“Bizarre” McAfee Statements distorting Belize’s image
The Lodge at Chaa Creek, Belize’s popular eco resort known for promoting sustainable tourism and Maya culture, has issued a statement regarding the recent media attention surrounding wanted computer virus mogul John McAfee. Owner Lucy Fleming said that Chaa Creek, which hosts a wide range of visitors to Belize and employs over 135 Belizeans, decided to comment on the affair after noting the high amount of media attention and internet traffic the case is generating. “This is not something we would normally comment upon, but statements attributed to Mr McAfee are casting Belize in a negative light that is very damaging and simply untrue,” Ms Fleming said. “To begin with, Belize is an independent, democratic country with a proven high regard for the rule of law. Our democratic and legal system has been in place for centuries, passed down from Belize’s days as a former crown colony of Great Britain. Since achieving independence in 1981 we have been recognised and indeed praised worldwide for maintaining a healthy democracy and fair legal system. “For Mr McAfee to suggest otherwise, and to maintain that he was somehow set-up by police in the murder of a fellow American on Ambergris Caye is unfair, untrue and damaging to the honest, hardworking people of this country, many of whom depend on tourism to make a living,” she said. The former millionaire founder of McAfee Anti-Virus software is currently in hiding somewhere in the tiny Caribbean country, where he is wanted for questioning in the murder of his neighbour, Gregory Faull, with whom he had a history of arguments. Since the discovery of Mr Faull’s body, McAfee has been on the run but remains in contact with several journalists, including Joshua Davis of Wired magazine, to whom he labelled the government and judiciary of Belize as corrupt and said he fears the police will assassinate him if he is discovered. Davis reports that McAfee said he has dyed his hair and beard and at one point was hiding in a hole in the sand with a cardboard box over his head. McAfee is known in Belize for maintaining a private security force and large cache of guns.

International Sources

Lessons from 2012: Droughts, not Hurricanes, are the Greater Danger
The colossal devastation and loss of life wrought by Hurricane Sandy makes the storm one of the greatest disasters in U.S. history. The storm and its aftermath have rightfully dominated the weather headlines this year, and Sandy will undoubtedly be remembered as the most notable global weather event of 2012. But shockingly, Sandy is probably not even the deadliest or most expensive weather disaster this year in the United States--Sandy's damages of perhaps $50 billion will likely be overshadowed by the huge costs of the great drought of 2012. While it will be several months before the costs of America's worst drought since 1954 are known, the 2012 drought is expected to cut America's GDP by 0.5 - 1 percentage points, said Deutsche Bank Securities this week. “If the U.S. were growing at 4 percent, it wouldn’t be as big an issue, but at 2 percent, it’s noticed,” said Joseph LaVorgna, the chief U.S. economist at Deutsche. Since the U.S. GDP is approximately $15 trillion, the drought of 2012 represents a $75 - $150 billion hit to the U.S. economy. This is in the same range as the estimate of $77 billion in costs for the drought, made by Purdue University economist Chris Hurt in August. While Sandy's death toll of 113 in the U.S. is the second highest death toll from a U.S. hurricane since 1972, it is likely to be exceeded by the death toll from the heat waves that accompanied this year's drought. The heat waves associated with the U.S. droughts of 1980 and 1988 had death tolls of 10,000 and 7,500 respectively, according to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center, and the heat wave associated with the $12 billion 2011 Texas drought killed 95 Americans. With July 2012 the hottest month in U.S. history, I expect the final heat death toll in the U.S. this year will be much higher than Sandy's death toll.

A bizarre visit to John McAfee's pleasure palace in Belize
To look for John McAfee, you must be willing to travel a narrow, rutted and muddy road. And the more I bumped and backfired along it in my temperamental, rented, gas golf cart ... the deeper down the rabbit hole I fell. This is one weird story. Some say it began a week ago Friday when the man who practically invented Internet security, John McAfee, shot his dogs. Others say it goes back to April when police raided his compound on the mainland looking for drugs and guns. They found both but the guns had permits and the drugs were legal. Some say police never got over their disappointment. The Austrian woman I had picked up with my golf cart told me McAfee was trying to make a female version of Viagra. John McAfee shares his home in Belize with seven girlfriends, two women told CNN. I'm not in the habit of picking up hitchhikers but it's customary here to give a lift to locals. As they say, "You never know when YOU might need a ride." Judging by the sound of my golf cart, that time wasn't far off. McAfee lives in the remote northern part of Ambergris Caye, an island 36 miles from the Belize mainland. I hopped a 15-minute prop-powered shuttle only to find his home was an additional six miles from the town of San Pedro. You might wonder why someone with so much money would live so far from town down such a difficult road. Rounding a sandy curve it quickly became obvious: the staggering beauty of the Belize Barrier Reef coast. Residents say the farther north on the island you go the higher the price of real estate.

IMF: Belize Experiencing Output Rebound, Tourism Recovery
Belize is experiencing an output rebound, despite a decline in oil production, according to the International Monetary Fund, which just concluded its yearly review of the country’s economy. According to the fund, Belize is expected to see GDP growth this year of between 3.5 and 4 percent, led by a recovery from last year’s weather-related damages in commodity exports, along with a recovery in tourism and electricity generation. An IMF mission led by Gerardo Peraza visited the country from Nov. 1 to Nov. 15 to conduct the review, which came in the context of the IMF’s Article IV consultations. Belize’s current account deficit is projected to narrow to 2.3 percent of GD, also thanks to higher inflows from tourism, along with higher remittances and lower repatriation of dividends by foreign companies operating in Belize. The fund said that, according to preliminary fiscal data, the government’s primary surplus target of 2 percent of GDP is also within reach, although that will require a “close monitoring of spending for the remainder of this fiscal year.”