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#464599 - 05/18/13 12:19 PM Today's Belize News: May 18, 2013
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

Oceana calls on GOB to demand that Treaty Energy respect our laws
Oceana in Belize today was able to confirm that Treaty Energy has resumed drilling operations in San Juan#3 following up on their statement that they would do so based on the advice from their attorney Rodwell Williams and Prime Minister Barrow’s press statement. The court ruling was clear that the contract of Princess Petroleum, which has a joint venture with Treaty Energy, is “unlawful, null and void” and thus it stands that by extension any work Treaty does under the umbrella of Princess is unlawful and a violation of the declaration made by Justice Oswell Legall. “It must be noted that under our system of law, the courts and spirit of the law expect Governments to be gentlemen and abide by pronouncement made in any court declaration based on the fact that our governments are constitutionally formed and thus the guardian of the principle of “Rule of LAW” which is the basis of the Constitution,” explained VP Oceana, Audrey Matura-Shepherd. However as an extra pre-caution the court also issued an injunction stopping government from implementing or allowing any oil company from implementing any of the provisions of the Production Sharing Agreement, which are the contracts signed between the company and the government.

3rd straight win for Tuff E Nuff in National Interoffice Basketball Tournament
Ambergris Caye’s Tuff E Nuff basketball team has won three consecutive games in the National Interoffice Basketball Tournament in the 2013 season. On Thursday May 9th, Tuff E Nuff defeated the Sir Belikin Team. It was a much anticipated and interesting match since most of the Tuff E Nuff’s 2012 players had moved over to Sir Belikin. Notwithstanding, the islanders took the lead from the first quarter. The team dominated the entire game, taking the largest lead in the third quarter which ended in an 81-55 margin in favor of Tuff E Nuff. By the end of the fourth quarter, the undefeated Tuff E Nuff pulled out a 20-point victory with the final score of 103 – 83. Tuff E Nuff’s Winston Pratt was the game’s best player, scoring 25 total points in the game.

‘Northern II’ about to get new owners
Oceana in Belize today held discussions with a team from the Placencia Producers Cooperative Society Limited to finalize plans for the donation of Northern II to this southern fishing coop. “It’s been an arduous process, but we have finally reached agreement in principle with the Placencia Coop to transfer this asset which will allow them to take their Seaweed Project to a new level. We are pleased to be able to make this donation to a worthy and sustainable cause within Belize,” stated Oceana VP Audrey Matura-Shepherd. The Placencia Coop team included Chairman of the Management Committee Mr. Sydney Lopez Jr, Secretary Mr. Leopold Leslie, Operations Manager Mr. Justino Mendez and Peace Corps Volunteer Ms. Shaz Davison. “Transfer of this vessel could not be timelier as we enter a new phase in our Seaweed Project. We see other benefits accruing to our Members and Belize with the presence of the Northern II at our project site, so we are most appreciative for this donation,” commented Manager Mendez.

IDAHO: International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia, May 17th
In light of the ongoing deliberation based on human rights (Orozco vs. Attorney General), The San Pedro Sun stands in solidarity with those who fight discrimination. Today, May 17th, is International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia (IDAHO), and we bring to you this stirring video from the UN human rights office. IDAHO is an annual event created in 2004, and its intent is to draw attention from policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media. There are 76 countries where homosexuality is considered illegal. The repercussions of being gay in some of these countries are extreme, in some instances even punishable by death!

2013 Sea Turtle Nesting Season
Three nests were found on Wednesday the Robles and Rocky Point nesting Beaches. This marks the start of the 2013 Sea turtle nesting Seasoon

Ambergris Today

Oceana Belize Donates Trawler for Seaweed Project
Oceana in Belize today held discussions with a team from the Placencia Producers Cooperative Society Limited to finalize plans for the donation of Northern II to this southern fishing coop. “It’s been an arduous process, but we have finally reached agreement in principle with the Placencia Coop to transfer this asset which will allow them to take their Seaweed Project to a new level. We are pleased to be able to make this donation to a worthy and sustainable cause within Belize,” stated Oceana VP Audrey Matura-Shepherd. The Placencia Coop team included Chairman of the Management Committee Mr. Sydney Lopez Jr, Secretary Mr. Leopold Leslie, Operations Manager Mr. Justino Mendez and Peace Corps Volunteer Ms. Shaz Davison. “Transfer of this vessel could not be timelier as we enter a new phase in our Seaweed Project. We see other benefits accruing to our Members and Belize with the presence of the Northern II at our project site, so we are most appreciative for this donation,” commented Manager Mendez.

US Navy Conducts Special Warfare Operations Course
Graduation Ceremonies were held on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 for 24 members of the Belize National Coastguard and five members of the Anti-Drug Unit (ADU), who all completed a 5-week intensive Special Warfare Operations Course. They were trained by Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen of the US Navy. The course covered Navigation, Small-Boat Handing, Communications, Board Search and Seizure, Vectoring, Radar and GPS Operation, Weapon-Handling Skills, and Waterborne Techniques.

Zumbathon® Benefit For SAGA Humane Society
SAGA Humane Society Zumbathon® Charity Event Presented by licensed zumba® fitness instructor, Karen Mielcarek Come dressed to dance, sweat and shake your tail! When: Friday, May 24th Time: 6pm – 8pm Where: San Pedro High School Auditorium Price: Only $10 Bz Tickets go on sale 5:30pm Water and snacks available for purchase All Proceeds Donated to SAGA HUMANE SOCIETY’S SNIP Campaign The Responsible and Humane way to control the animal population on Ambergris Caye. We can neuter/spay one needy animal for $50bzd (25 animals for $1000bzd). Remember that for each puppy born, a grown dog is homeless or euthanized.

Misc Belizean Sources

San Pedro Town Council Master Plan 2012 - 2015
Following municipal elections, the new San Pedro Town Council tasked itself with formulating a strategic plan that sets out this Council’s vision, mission and guiding principles while giving clear direction on the objectives for the next three years and beyond. This is the high-level, overarching plan that guides and shapes our municipal programs, and the services provided to our community. The 2012 - 2015 San Pedro Town Council Strategic Plan identify our priorities for the social and economic well being of our community, the sustainability of our environment, and for town services and administration. These priorities are dependent on budgeting and available resources and we have made the commitment to find innovative ways of addressing these priorities and achieving our objectives. We stress the importance of embracing change and diversity and the significance of principled action, accountability, openness and transparency.

VIDEO: International Day against Homophobia message by Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow
Kim Simplis Barrow, the Special Envoy for Women and Children, has released a great video for the International Day against Homophobia. Great timing, and her message is well said and delivered. It has gone far enough. It's a matter of human rights, and nobody should be bullied or discriminated against. The diversity of Belize is what makes it the best. Thank you, Miss Simplis-Barrow, for doing such a great job.

AF surgeon helps Belizean boy get 'new hand'
An Air Force surgeon deployed here performed surgery on a 4-year-old Belizean boy May 2, to improve the usability of the boy's hand. The boy, Isai Carrillo, underwent surgery May 2 to correct syndactyly, otherwise known as hand fusion, in his right hand. The surgery took three hours and consisted of separating the fused unit into fingers using skin grafts from his abdomen. The hand that was once fused now has three fingers. This operation will give the boy more of a pincher mechanism, said Lt. Col. Matthew Talarczyk, a plastic surgeon from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. "It could mean having ease opening up a door," Talarczyk said. "(It will help with) very little things that can mean a lot in terms of functioning." Talarcyzyk and his surgical team at the plastic surgery clinic here performed the operation as part of U.S. Southern Command exercise, New Horizons. New Horizons gives U.S., Canadian and Belizean service members an opportunity to train jointly in an exercise setting to prepare for future challenges.

BRUTAL QUOTE FROM OCEANA REP SHEPHERD
This is what the representative of Oceana Belize, Audrey Matura Shepherd, said today, on the International Day Against Homophobia and during a very sensitive time for LGBT people, as shown, with such class, by First Lady Kim Simplis Barrow. “"So section 53 Criminal Code of Belize refers to not only sodomy, but also bestiality... I wonder if we will soon have another group maybe animal-bam claiming it is theri human right to have sex in the privacy of their home with their animals? consent will not then be an issues since human own animals... so need for consent needs only be form the human aspect... ooops!"

SIPL Visits Bullet Tree
Feelgood news of the day. The San Ignacio Public Library paid a visit to Immaculate Conception primary school in Bullet Tree Falls. What a way to celebrate Education Week. Thanks, SIPL! "The San Ignacio Public Library staff visited Immaculate Conception RC Primary as part of eductaion week. The SIPL staff spoke about the importance of libraries and reading. Stories and activities were also a part of this visit. Students had educational fun."

Launch of Benque Tourism Plan
The Benque Viejo Tourism Committee had their grand launch of the tourism plan for Benque Thursday. Orquidea Negra Dance Company was there providing some cool entertainment.

NIGHT FIRES - CAYO
The burning of fires and the resulting smoke continues to be a menace to residents of the Cayo district. Thanks to Blanca Orellana for sharing these snapshots from the area near the San Ignacio commuity hospital on the Bullet Tree Road. THe fire engine had to be summoned to assist with knocking down flmes in front of the hospital.

Channel 7

Richie Russell, Escaped Bze City’s Means Streets But Death Found Him In B’pan
In 2008, the name Richard Russell was at the epicenter of street violence in Belize City – he’d been shot at multiple times, ambushed and chased down – but he escaped every time. Eventually though, it became too much and he relocated to Belmopan to escape the pressure. That’s when the streets claimed his younger brother in a brutal murder. Russell never came back to Belize City – but last night in Belmopan – death went looking for him. Was it an old beef that had caught up with him, or old habits he was trying in a new place? That’s what Daniel Ortiz tried to find out today. Daniel Ortiz reporting When we arrived at his house this in the Salvapan area, the wife of 31 year old Richard Russell was trying to cleanse their home of the large volume of blood he lost. And just as they were having difficulty getting the stains out of their possessions, so too will they have a hard time removing the stain of the violent end which he met in front of his family. Whoever did it was remorseless and highly efficient because that person took him out through the window of his bedroom in the presence of his wife and 3 children. Voice of: Andrea Russell - Sister of Deceased "Around 9:45a.m. my brother got home and he got inside and took off his clothes and he left on only his boxers and started taking out his breakfast. He heard someone calling for him from outside saying 'Richie' and they came to the front window and he told them go to the side window. Then he told my sister in law to check who was calling for him and she told him to check for himself because she was already lying down and that he was the one they came to see. He went and as he opened the window they shot him."

Chiac Was Killed On The Road’s Shoulder, Not fondly Remembered By His Granny
Last night, 7News told you about 20 year-old Angel Chiac Jr., who was found dead on the side of the road between miles 25 and 26 on the Northern Highway on Tuesday night. His body didn’t show any physical signs of violence, so police couldn’t say yesterday if it was foul-play or not. Well, Dr. Mario Estradabran conducted the post-mortem yesterday, in which he concluded that Chiac was choked to death by an assailant. So now, police are treating it as a homicide, in which they are actively pursuing leads. But, 7News found out today that they will have a difficult time because there weren’t many witnesses, and that his body was found in almost total darkness. We spoke with one of the first responders, and with his grandmother, who was very frank about Chiac as a grandson: Daniel Ortiz "Can you tell us when and what you guys saw when you went out there on the road side?" Ruby Seguro - First Responder "Just a young man laying down on the road side, apparently dead. They called to tell us that someone was knocked down by my house but when we went there it didn't seem that he was knocked down." Daniel Ortiz "Describe to us what you saw and what you did in order to preserve the young man's dignity?" Ruby Seguro "Well he was laying there and everybody is just coming to look at him so we go a sheet and covered his body. We stayed to assist the police to put tires on the road side and we gave them food."

Police Shot 16 Year Old Who Turned Gun On Them
In an update to the shooting we told you about last night, police have confirmed that a 16 year old is the person they shot after he allegedly turned his weapon on a responding patrol team. The minor was shot to the left hand above the wrist area. Police say when they shot his hand he dropped a 9 millimeter pistol with an extended clip – which has been recovered. The person he was allegedly in a shootout with is Ryan Myles who was shot to the left thigh, left knee and left ankle. Police investigation so far says that Myles was at the corner of Oleander Street and Tulip Street when he was approached by the minor who opened fire on him. The minor then ran towards the corner of Tulip and Flamboyant Street where he kept firing and shot Myles those three times. The minor then ran towards Vernon Street where he was intercepted by police who ordered him to drop the gun. They say that instead he pointed it at them. That’s when he was shot in the hand. So police got his weapon, and searched an abandoned lot at the corner of Tulip and Oleander Streets where they found a Black Ruger brand 380 pistol with magazine and three live rounds of ammunition. They believe that Myles may have thrown the weapon there. Over 20 expended shells were found at the scene.

Police Charge Mennonite Robbers
On Tuesday, we told you about how police nabbed the suspected robbers right after a brazen, daylight armed robbery, and recovered a firearm. Well tonight, the men who police caught on the scene are at spending their second night in prison after they were taken to court yesterday. As we reported, four men on bicycles rolled up on a trio of Mennonites who were making sales in their cargo truck at the corner of Amara Avenue and King Street at around 5:30 p.m. They robbed the men with a firearm and then rode off towards Dean Street. Precinct police were in the area and responded immediately. They intercepted 18 year-old Ljaman Young, and 24 year-old Tarique Cadle on Dean Street. When they searched them, a small .25 pistol fell out of one of the men's pockets. Police also found one of the Mennonite’s wallets with a small amount of cash.

Grijalva Speaks (Not To Us)
Denny Grijalva, the Managing Director of De-Mar’s Stone Company has been at the center of a firestorm of national and international controversy for the past week. He’s issued a statement, and now Grijalava has started giving interviews. Not to 7news – even though we’ve been asking for one since last week Friday – but yesterday he gave interviews to the Amandala and to LOVE FM. He told the Amandala that quote, “My company should be fined, because we did something wrong.” But as he and his foreman explained to LOVEFM – there’s enough blame to go around. Here’s a small portion of that interview: "Voice of: Denny Grijalva, Managing Director, De-Mar’s Stone Company "In this place apparently they have been digging for many years, I don't know how many years, fifteen, twenty years they have been digging there. It couldn't be done in one day that is something that had to happen through many years. My company was there only one day." Voice of: Javier Nunez, Foreman, De-Mar's Stone Company "So what you see on the tv we did not do that .I am not trying to justify what happened we don't feel very proud about it. When you go and do this type of jobs in the villages, to service villages, the contractor has no control over anything but to do the job. It really takes you where we mine the material. Personally I didn't know at the point that the equipment was taken to this particular ruin to be specific. Bad taste - we stayed with a bad taste and we are sorry about it and we would like to extend our apologies to whoever is involved and whoever concerned."

Treaty Drilling At Will?
Treaty Energy Belize is an oil exploration company that operates under the umbrella of Princess Petroleum. But in April the Supreme Court declared the Princess Contract null. So why have they resumed drilling operations? In a press release, they said they would based on the advice from their attorneys at Barrow and Williams and Prime Minister Barrow’s press statement. The PM had said that there was nothing stopping them since the injunction was against the government not the oil companies. And so, according to OCEAN, Treaty Energy has started exploratory work again at a well called San Juan #3. OCEANA maintains that any work Treaty does under the umbrella of the Princess concession is “unlawful, null and void.”

UB Looking Into Claims Of Student-Fleecing
Last night, 7News told you about the group of students and their professor, Patrick Menzies, who alleged that the UB has basically been fleecing students seeking a bachelor’s degree. According to them, UB rejects a lot of credits and courses offered by junior colleges they come from, credits which should count toward the undergraduate degree because they are the same ones that the University offers, just with a different name. The further allege that UB over charges Bachelors students for the same prerequisite courses that they offer to Associates students at a fraction of a price. Well today, 7News spoke with the University’s Public Relation’s Officer. He told us that they want an opportunity to review the report and the research done by the students to support these claims: Selwyn King - Public Relations Officer "At this point in time the president has not received any report so we really cant make any comments but what I can tell you is that once the report is received sometime today or early next week we will review the report and upon reviewing the report he will then call upon the academic deans to basically brief him and to give him an insight in terms of how the process is done and by the various faculties.

Prostate Specialist Visits
It’s Cancer Awareness month and today as part of its regular continuing education sessions, the KHMH had a special guest: Dr. Jorge Gonzalez, Director of the Institute of Oncology Radiation in Cuba. Speaking to a room full of medical professionals, he gave a one hour presentation on prostate cancer. He spoke to us after about some of the relevant indicators for prostate cancer in Belize including the issue of race. Dr. Jorge Gonzalez - Visiting Oncology and Urology Expert Director (Translation: Omar Avilez - KHMH Medical Officer) "Race is a very important factor in Prostate Cancer. People of black race have a much higher incidence of Prostate Cancer than people of white race that's why in countries like China and Japan they have a very low incidence of prostate cancer as oppose to countries like Cuba and Belize that have a very high black race and the African Continents as well." Jules Vasquez "A person with perhaps a higher chance of incidence maybe it has occurred in their family before or perhaps if they are out the black race - is their any lifestyle changes they can make on nutritional changes they can make?"

Budna Gets “Shilling”
A week ago, we told you about 33 year-old Belizean Joseph Budna, who was standing trial for abduction in Guatemala. Well, he will spend 25 years in prison because he was convicted in the Guatemalan Supreme Court. The allegation against him was that Budna, who is believed to be head of a kidnapping ring operating in Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, kidnapped 19 year US National Luis Bryon Reyes Onofre in August of 2012. Onofre reported that Budna and his organization abducted him, took him to Honduras and held him hostage on a farm in that country, in an effort to extort 1 million quetzales from his father, Luis August Reyes Salazar. He told police that it was not until his father made 2 payments that he was released. Budna’s defence was that Luis Onofre colluded with them the entire time. According to Budna, it was not until the money was paid that Onofre changed his story and claimed that he was kidnapped.

Man Dies In Road Accident
A man died this morning in an accident on the Hummingbird Highway. According to reports, George Crawford from Pomona was coming down a hill at mile 28 on the Hummingbird where he lost control of his truck. He reportedly jumped out to try and save himself, which is where he experienced massive head injury and died. In other news, there was a frightening home invasion in the Lord’s Bank area near Ladyville this afternoon. It happened on Old Well Road where three men with machetes and knives reportedly stormed into a woman’s house. They reportedly tied her up – and cut her on the throat while demanding certain unspecified items they believed to be in the house. But, according to police, they didn’t get much and left. The woman received a non life threatening injury.

Women’s Cross Country On-Again
Two days ago, we received the notice that the women’s cross-country had been cancelled. Well tonight, the news is that it’s one again. A Release from the Cycling Association says that, quote, “after further consultation with our legal counsel we are satisfied that we would not be infringing on the legal process before the Courts if we continue our calendar of races.” And so with that, the 24th Annual Women Cross Country Classic will ride on Sunday May 19, at 8:30 a.m. from San Ignacio to Leslie's Imports. The legal issues stem from an injunction against the association filled by former president Emil Moreno.

Muscle Man Comes Home
Earlier this week, we told you about Mr. Belize -33 year old Rigo Vellos who excelled in the 2013 Hercules Olympia contest in Colchester London about a week ago. Vellos placed second in the international event, a significant achievement being that he is the first Belizean to compete at that level, alongside the best bodybuilders from North America and Europe. Today he stopped in at our studios to show off his prize and spoke about his experience at his first international competition. Rigo Vellos - Mr Belize "For my first international competition - the experience was great and unforgettable. It made me grow up in the sport of body building actually. I'm a more open-minded person when it comes to that sport. I came in second in my category which was the Tall Category. The tall category is anybody that has the height of 5'7" to 5'11", I was 5'10". I got a second place trophy in the category for the Hercules Olympia and I won some supplements along with it too. All the preparation started at my home town, Corozal Town. The training immediately after Mr. Belize last year - I started training and the opportunity came up in January and I agreed to do some fund raising and the people from Corozal helped me. I tried contacting some business places like BTL and they responded, places like CBC and they also helped me out. I did some BBQ sales and I had some private people that actually helped me to come up with the money which was like $8,000bzd."

At Last, Santa Martha Gets Electricity For Water System
Earlier this year we told you about a school strike in Santa Martha, where parents weren’t sending their children to school because there was no water. It had been a problem for months – where the village – at mile 29 on the old Northern Road – didn’t have a generator to push its water pump. NEMO eventually came to the rescue loaning them a generator. But it was a short term fix because keeping the generator running required costly diesel fuel. But now they’ve hooked up to the main power supply – which simplifies things and lets NEMO get back its generator in time for hurricane season. A Ceremony was held yesterday to celebrate the accomplishment. The rural Development minister explained the importance… Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minster of Rural Development and NEMO " The power was passing right by so it was more convenient to get a set of transformers and hook up to the system. It is now automatic, there is a flow and while it will still require maintenance, it's far less. When you're running these kinds of engines from my manager as an engineer I know that you run them full out, used or not used you're burning the fuel. When you're coming off the grid you pay for what you use because it is metered so when the pump cuts off there is no power being consumed and when the pump starts again there's power being consumed. So it is a tremendous advantage."

A Pageant For Men?
Tonight 5 male contestants will be hitting the stage at the Birds Isle basketball court – where they will be vying for the title of Mr. Smooth and Silky. The pageant has been stirring up much controversy as it is being perceived by many as a Pageant for homosexual men. But today 7news had a chance to clear up those accusations when we spoke to Pageant Organizer, Marina Welcome. Marina Welcome - Pageant Coordinator "A lot of people are getting it twisted about thsi pageant. It is just a clean pageant, it's really a male fashion show so please people don't get it twisted. It's for a worthy cause it's for fund raising for the Jump Street Posse Carnival band. Unfortunately right now one of our contestant has to drop out because of his job. Everybody is getting this pageant twisted, please it's a nice and clean pageant." Monica Bodden "When you say twisted - what are they saying?" Marina Welcome "They think that this pageant is connected with UNIBAM and it's not, its a Jump Street Posse production. It's a fashion show for male and I think the problem is that they are not used to males doing a pageant they are used to only the females. Well people you have to get used to it because i'll be back with it next year." Monica Bodden "Tell me what can people expect coming out tonight?" Marina Welcome "Tonight the contestants are very secretive but they will be doing an introduction, sportswear, talent, swimwear and the last segment is a GQ style that means you come out looking 'pimping' right with a question and answer."

Walking For HIV
Today Belize joined in with more than 115 countries worldwide to celebrate the second annual Solidarity Day for Persons Living with HIV. The memorial commenced with a solidarity walk through the city streets and ended with a commemorative ceremony. With approximately 33 million persons living with HIV worldwide, and more than five thousand in Belize, organizers of today’s event hope that it will continue to break down barriers in Belize by giving a face to HIV and courage to those living with it. Eric Castellanos - Executive Director, C-NET "Today we are celebrating our 2nd annual solidarity day with persons living with HIV. Last year we had a celebration but we didn't have a march, this is the first time we are having a march. It's a day where we commemorate the lives of our loved ones - all those persons that have died due to HIV, our partners and relatives. It's not in a sad way, it's a celebrating way because we are honoring their lives - taking into consideration that they might not have the resources that we have right now. So we're in a very lucky position and because of their sacrifice and what they went through is because we are where we are right now and have the benefit of better medication and better services. This is a regional initiative - it started in El Salvador, which was the first country that observed it. In fact in El Salvador the legislation has declared it a national day so all the schools and everywhere observe it as a national solidarity day with persons living with HIV. It's very critical because it's a moment where people who are not HIV can show their solidarity and support. This is a very good initiative and a very good way to support persons who are not positive can come in solidarity with persons living with HIV to reduce stigma and discrimination.

A World OF “Vibez”
Positive Vibez is an artist who is making the transition between traditional Punta Rock, informed by a Belize City based urban street sensibility. He has finished recording his 4th album called “The Musical World of Positive Vibez”, and today he spoke with 7News about the audio treat that he’s offering to his fans: Positive Vibez - Entertainer "The concept and the Musical World of Positive Vibez - to my fans I just want to inform them that this is my fourth CD album. The reason why I named it Musical World of Positive Vibez simply is that when my fans that actually support the project end up putting the CD in their deck or wherever and then they transfer into my world, meaning I own their two ears. They are in my world now so everything that you hear is from me and how I feel towards the music at that moment and time." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about the singles and songs, how did you come up with them?" Positive Vibez "Actually I would have to say that the Most High blessed me with the talent and give me the inspiration to do what I do. Sometimes when the songs are finished I can't tell how I made it. The album is compiled of 18 songs, 10 Punta rock and 8 dancehall songs."

Channel 5

Oil contracts null and void, but Treaty Energy ‘Drill baby drill!’
In the south today, drills cranked up as Treaty Belize Energy resumed operations at its San Juan Three well. There are two areas of concern according to OCEANA; that the company is going against a court ruling in mid-April which declared null and void six oil contracts including one that Princess Petroleum shares with Treaty [...]

Moved to different city, but hitman finds his target
Notorious Belize City bad man Richard Russell may have been running from his past when he relocated to Belmopan, but he couldn’t run far or fast enough and on Thursday night one bullet fired into his face through the window of his house in the Salvapan area of Belmopan ended his life. A check of [...]

She said money disappeared when cops were on the scene
And even as Diane Lamb grieves for Richard Russell, she is dealing with another loss. She claims that while Police were in her home on Thursday night, they stole money which she had in her purse in a drawer. She showed us the blood on the purse, which she alleges must have come from the [...]

Chiac’s sudden death on roadside was actually a murder
The investigation into the death of twenty-two year old Angel Chiac has turned to one of murder. Chiac’s body was found on Tuesday night at about eight o’clock not far from a bus stop in Biscayne where he was seen alive thirty minutes  earlier. Chiac originally from Belmopan moved to Gardenia to live with his [...]

Truck driver loses life in accident
There was a traffic mishap on the Hummingbird Highway which resulted in the death of one man, George Victor Crawford from the village of Guinea Grass in the Orange Walk district. Belmopan Police were called out to mile twenty-nine on the Hummingbird Highway where they found the lifeless body of Crawford on the road, and [...]

Finding Belize border marker with Guatemala at Garbutt’s Falls
Gracias Adios and Aguas Turbias are two of the markers that signify Belize’s border with Guatemala. Those markers are not normally visited because of the journey it takes to get there. But Garbutt’s Falls is another marker that many Belizeans have come in close contact but never realized it was there. If you have ever [...]

Women will ride despite brakes being pulled on cycling president
Earlier this week, an injunction was served on Hilly Martinez, the president of the Belize Olympic Committee and the interim executive of Belize Cycling Association at the behest of UCI-recognized president, Emil Moreno. As a result, the BCA indefinitely postponed cycling races and other events until the court settles the ongoing dispute in the BCA.   [...]

Security beefed up at UB following dorm robbery
On May eighth, six armed and masked men entered a dormitory at the University of Belize Central Campus in Belmopan. Nine students were tied up by the men who wielded handguns and shotguns, and their rooms were ransacked for over an hour. The men, described as Hispanic, made off with over forty-thousand dollars in cash, [...]

UB bachelor students pay large fee for same course as associate students
On Thursday, several students of the University of Belize held a press conference at which they levied accusations at the institution. The students say that UB is overcharging students from the Bachelor’s Program for Associate Level courses which they must re-take when the school, seemingly without reason, does not accept credits for courses taken in [...]

K.H.M.H. launches investigation into death of ill patient
An Orange Walk family is tonight mourning the death of their infant after he passed away just after four this morning at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Twenty-seven days old Josiah Murcia was born prematurely and his lungs were not fully developed and Baby Josiah was transported to the K.H.M.H. from the Northern Regional Hospital. [...]

Time to get your prostate checked
The local media was today invited to the conference room of the K.H.M.H. for a continuing medical education session. It featured a presentation by head of the department at the National Institute of Oncology and Radiology in Cuba, Doctor Jorge Alberto Gonzalez-Hernandez on prostate cancer. Doctor Gonzalez has investigated the tumoral markers in prostate cancer [...]

Gender Policy updated and is against discrimination by sexual orientation
The updated national gender policy is a process that began in 2009. It included the development of a situational analysis to understand what’s happening in Belize in regards to men women and children throughout the life cycle. It embodies all the issues that affect Belizeans. The launch of the policy was held at the Belize [...]

Life-celebrating in More Tomorrow Village. Day
The village of More Tomorrow isn’t in our news that often, but with all the history attached to it, maybe it should be. It is one of the oldest villages in the country, and this weekend will be celebrating an especially important milestone. Today C.E.O. of the More Tomorrow Farmer’s Group Daud Robinson visited our [...]

LOVE FM

Western Belize Anxious For Rain; Bush Fires Smokes Out Residents
Marion Ali, Reporting The rainy season is still a few weeks away and the people and wildlife in the Western portion of the country will welcome it gladly. For the past few days, brush fires in the Cayo and Western Belize Districts have blanketed the horizon. In the Hill...

Single Mother Asks For Help For Reconstructive Surgery
Thirty six year old Adelia Herbert, a single mom from the Old Northern Highway, visited our news center to appeal for help from the public. According to her she has been suffering with a urinary problem for over three years now, and it’s not only taking a physical toll but ...

Villager Found Strangled On Road Side
There is another murder to report tonight and this one occurred earlier in the week. On Tuesday night Ladyville Police were called out Phillip Goldson Highway between miles twenty five and twenty six in Biscayne Village. Upon arriving police say they observed the motionless body of...

Belmopan Resident Shot and Killed In His Home
Marion Ali, Reporting Salvapan is a quiet Salvadoran community set on the northern edge of the capital, Belmopan but that peace was momentarily interrupted on Thursday night when a gunshot reverberated in the small residential area. It happened at the humble dwelling of ...

Truck Driver Jumps Out Moving Truck
A traffic accident sometime after nine o’clock this morning has left a man dead. Reports are that 50-year-old George Crawford was driving a tow head truck loaded with sand and gravel from Dangriga to Belmopan. Upon reaching between mile 28 and 29 going up a hill, the ...

Possession of Crack Cocaine Leaves Carpenter Out On $5K Bail
Fifty year old Mark Usher, a carpenter of Neal Pen Road, who the police alleged had 5.3 grams of crack cocaine, was charged with drug trafficking when he appeared in court today. Usher pled not guilty to the charge. He was released on a bail of $5,000.00 and his case was adjourne...

PlusTV

Father of three murdered in Belmopan
A father of three was murdered last night in the City of Belmopan. The shooting incident took place shortly before 10pm on Costa Rica Street which is located in the San Martin Extension area. We advise that the video footage used in the following story is graphic and would...

Fatal traffic accident on the Hummingbird Highway
A man lost his life in an accident this morning on the Hummingbird Highway. 50 year old George Crawford was traveling to Belmopan, when he lost control of his truck. In attempt to save his life, Crawford leaped out of the vehicle, but unfortunately he didn’t make it. Harry...

Post-mortem examination reveals Angel Chiac was murdered
In last night’s newscast, we told you about the body of 22 year old Angel Chiac, which was found off the road on the Phillip Goldson Highway. There appeared to be no signs of violence on the body and so police were awaiting a post mortem examination. Today, we...

KHMH Pharmacy staff protest pay situation
Workers at the in-house KHMH pharmacy have been pursuing actions which may land them in trouble with their bosses. Reports are that they have expressed their dissatisfaction with their pay situation by not showing up to work on Wednesday of this week and the pharmacy was allegedly also closed...

Police refute alleged assault victim’s claims
On Tuesday, we spoke with a young woman of Placenica Village, who told us that she was violently assaulted by three police officers, attached to the Placencia sub-formation. As we mentioned, the matter is before the courts and so the woman chose not to speak formally with the media....

Man shot three times by minor
A man was rushed to the KHMH yesterday, after being shot three times. His shooter, believed to be a minor, also had to be admitted for a gunshot injury. The incident happened just before 5 pm yesterday; Ryon Myles was at the corner of Oleander Street and Tulip Street,...

Leshawn Lino acquitted of murder of common-law partner
26 year old Leshawn Lino of Ladyville, accused of manslaughter in the death of her common-law husband and former BDF soldier 23 year old Shamir Henry in September of 2010, was acquitted late last night in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. Lino was accused of slicing Henry’s throat,...

Man shot in December has died
Tonight we report on the passing of 22 year old Gregory Jones, who was injured during a shootout at the BTL Park last year December. Jones was attending a concert with his girlfriend, when he was shot and left paralyzed from the chest down. Earlier this month, we spoke...

Doctors instructed on Postrate Cancer
Prostate cancer is an important but often uncomfortable topic for men, especially older men, who may not like the invasive method of detection needed to uncover it. Nevertheless, the threat is real and today Belize’s leading public hospital, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) and the Ministry of Foreign...

Persons Living with HIV hold Solidarity Walk
This afternoon a small group of Belizeans, many close to and familiar with the ravages of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), marched down Princess Margaret Drive in the first-ever annual Solidarity Walk. They marched from the KHMH parking lot to the PASMO office...

Cycling champion upset at race postponement
Earlier this week we told you about the ongoing conflict in cycling which has resulted in the case moving to the legal arena. The Cycling Association and National Olympic Committee went ahead with elections it ruled had to be held after incumbent Cycling President Emil Moreno’s election was ruled...

Belize Bodybuilder competes in England
He lays claim to the title of “Belize’s best looking man”, but bodybuilding veteran and reigning Mr. Belize Rigo Vellos found himself in a different class when he participated recently in the Hercules Olympia bodybuilding competition in Colchester, Essex, England. In the Men’s Tall Class category, he placed second...

Global Day of Prayer observed on Sunday
A day of repentance and united prayer – the Global Day of Prayer will be observed this coming Sunday. It is a time when believers from all over the world unite for corporate submission to God and Here is Pastor Lance Lewis, with the history of Global Day of...

Lupus March Saturday in Belmopan
We want to remind you of the Lupus March taking place this Saturday in Belmopan. The march is in recognition of Lupus Awareness Month and will start at the Mae Gordon Park, go around the ring road, and culminate back at the park. It starts at 5:30pm.


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The Guardian

Denny responds to Noh Mul Destruction
The man at the center of the firestorm surrounding the destruction of a Maya mound at the Noh Mul site, Denny Grijalva, has issued a press release on the subject. Grijalva, the UDP’s Caretaker for Orange Walk Central issued the following press release: “In light of the public reaction to excavation on a private property between the villages of San Pablo and San Juan in the Orange Walk district, as the Managing Director of De’ Mar’s Stone Company, the entity currently occupying center stage in this matter, it is my duty and indeed my obligation to inform the public, at home and abroad, of the sequence of events leading to this unfortunate incident. De’ Mar’s was recently contracted to undertake the construction and rehabilitation of roads in Douglas Village also in the Orange Walk District. My understanding is that a first site for the excavation of material was identified by the company foreman. The Chairman of Douglas Village was reportedly not satisfied with the quality of the material and as such, he obtained permission from a landowner to extract material from his property from which material has been excavated for well over a decade. De’ Mar’s excavation on the site began at around 8:00 am on Thursday, May 9th and continued up to 5:00 pm that day. Operations resumed the following day when at around 10:30 am persons identifying themselves as officials from the National Institute of History and Culture (NICH) reportedly appeared on the site accompanied by a crew from an Orange Walk Town-based television news station. The officials instructed the company foreman to halt operations informing that the site is of archaeological interest.

UDP sweeps First Round of Village Councils - 31 of 44 villa
The United Democratic Party has done exceptionally well in the first round of village council elections held on Sunday, May 12th. In those elections, the party secured an overwhelming majority of village councils. 44 villages in total held elections and the UDP secured victories in 31 of these villages. In the Belize Rural North Constitutency, Hon. Edmund Castro delivered all 8 villages on the Old Northern Highway including Maskall, Bomba,Boston, Corozalito Lucky Strike, Rockstone Pond, Santana and St. Ann's. In Orange Walk, Deputy Party Leader, Hon. Gaspar Vega delivered Trial Farm Village while Orange Walk South caretaker, Juan de Dios Moguel secured victories in San Lazaro and Trinidad. Orange Walk East caretaker, Landy Burns delivered Chan Pine Ridge for the UDP from a formerly PUP held council. In the Corozal District, Hon. Hugo Patt secured victories in Yo Chen, Cristo Rey and San Pedro. Meanwhile, caretaker Raul Rosado brought in Carolina and 4 councilors in Calcutta getting a majority hold in that village. There were unsuccessful bids in Ranchito and San Joaquin. Out west, it was pretty much the same scenario with Hon. Rene Montero taking Esperanza village and Cristo Rey. Caretaker Miley Garcia secured Blackman Eddy Village and with great work from UDP Chairman Mike Juan, for a third consecutive time, he maintained his position in Unitedville Village. The bid was unsuccessful in Valley of Peace.

More Mental Evaluation for Felicia Chen
On Tuesday, May 14th, 22-year-old Felicia Chen, the young mother, who is accused of killing three of her four children on Saturday, April 27th, Belizean was back before the Belize City Magistrate’s Court for a third appearance in her triple homicide case. Dressed in full black and apparently frighten and scared, Chen was first brought to court room #4 before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, but for some unknown reason, her case was transferred to Court #1 but the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith was absent. Chen was escorted to Court #2 to appear before the Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer. The appearance of Chen in court #2 came as a surprise for the Senior Magistrate, who reverted the matter back to Court #4. When she reappeared before Magistrate Cayetano, her case was adjourned. While neither her nurse nor the psychiatrist would comment on the matter, the DPP briefly explained that an evaluation was conducted on Chen and at the end of that evaluation, it was concluded that she needed to spend 8 more days in a psychiatric facility.

$10 Million Grant from Taiwan
PM Hon. Dean Barrow received grant from H.E. David C. K. Wu On Thursday May 9th, His Excellency David C. K. Wu, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) presented a cheque in the sum of US Dollars Five Million to the Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Belize. Graduation Ceremonies were held on Wednesday, May 15th, for 24 members of the Belize National Coastguard and 5 members of the Anti-Drug Unit (ADU), who all completed a 5-week intensive Special Warfare Operations Course.

Cancer Societies in Cayo at the Frontline
The San Ignacio Cancer Society, a Chapter of the Belize Cancer Society, held its first educational outreach on May 11th, 2013 at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio Town. The Chapter was first launched on March 6th and Saturday’s event was timed to reach as large an audience as possible.

Connecting Landscapes across the Belize Corridor
A Task Force to look at developing the Conservation Action Plan (CAP) for the Central Belize Corridor was launched at the “The Best Little Zoo in the World,” The Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center, at mile 29 on the George Price Highway on May 9th, 2012. A biological corridor is an area of habitat connecting wildlife populations separated by human activities such as roads and agricultural activity. This allows an exchange of individuals between populations, which may help prevent some negative biological effects. According to Doctor Rebecca Foster, the Director of the Jaguar Program for Panthera in Belize and who is now contributing to the CAP, some of these negative effects include the lack of genetic variability among species. Fragmented populations in species lead to fertility issues and a general reduction of resistance to diseases along with other problems. “But beyond that, other problems can happen from wildlife populations being isolated, for example if a small population is very isolated and gets wiped out by natural disaster like a hurricane, a fire or flood or by disease then animals can’t get to repopulate the area so that area is effectively dead now, there are no animals there and no way to re-colonize it…”

Mothers Day in Lake Independence
A never tiring area representative, Hon. Mark King, on Sunday May 12th hosted 125 mothers of the Lake Independence Constituency to a Mother's Day program. According to King, the mothers from the division were treated to food, gifts and pampering all in an effort to show that they are appreciated. King added that while it was not yet possible to host all mothers in his division to the program, he is working diligently to ensure that next year's program can accommodate as many as 500 mothers of the constituency.

Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala Meet at OAS Headquarters in Washington, DC.
The delegation of Belize led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington met on May 8th, 2013, with a Guatemalan delegation led by Foreign Minister Carrera and the OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza at OAS Headquarters. The meeting, held at the invitation of the OAS Secretary General, was convened to discuss the next steps in the Belize Guatemala process following the announcement by Guatemala of its inability to proceed with the simultaneous referenda originally scheduled for 6 October 2013.

Public Relations Training for Commanding Officers
Commanding Officers of the Belize Police Department and their deputies took part in a public relations workshop at the Raccoon Street Police Station on Wednesday, May 15th. Commissioner of Police, Allan Whylie, said that the purpose of the workshop is to “improve the force’s relationship with the media and enhance the officers’ ability to communicate effectively”.

Three Simultaneous Training Courses for Police Officers: Adjudicators, Crime Investigators, and Mobile Interdiction
Three new training courses got underway on Monday, May 13th, at the Belize National Police Training Academy in Belmopan.

Members of Belize Coastguard and Anti Drugs Unit graduate from Special Warfare Operations Course Supervised by the US Navy
Graduation Ceremonies were held on Wednesday, May 15th, for 24 members of the Belize National Coastguard and 5 members of the Anti-Drug Unit (ADU), who all completed a 5-week intensive Special Warfare Operations Course.

Carnal Knowledge Charge leads to Teenager’s Death
On Tuesday, May 7th, 18-year-old Punta Gorda resident, Rasheed Elijio was arrested and charged after he was found inside a house with his 15-year-old girlfriend. The minor was taken to the Punta Gorda Police Station along with her mother where she confessed to police that she has had sexual intercourse with Elijio on seven separate occasions. Elijio was then charged with carnal knowledge. At 5 a.m. on Friday, May 10th, Elijio was to be transported to the Belize Central Prison with another detainee, Brian Garcia, who was charged for carnal knowledge and Lino Ical, who was charged for drug trafficking. Garcia and Elijio were handcuffed together and as the men were being boarded on a James Bus they dashed out and escaped from police. Police launched a search operation and a little over 3 hours later the escapees were seen in the Carib Reserve Area. At 8:30 a.m., Police Constable David Griffith called the police station to report that Elijio had been caught but was shot in the process. Elijio was transported to the Punta Gorda Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Remanded to Prison for molesting a 9-year-old girl!
Jose Aquino On Wednesday May 15th, Honduran national, 48-year-old Jose Aquino, who is accused of touching a 9-year-old minor inappropriately, was remanded to the Belize Central Prison when he appeared before the Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer. He was charged with a single count of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. Aquino, who was unrepresented, pleaded not guilty to the offense but due to his uncertain immigration status in Belize, was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until July 10th. Aquino is accused of touching the 9-year-old girl’s private parts. The incident occurred on Monday, May 13th.

Bar Owners Charge for hiring Illegal Immigrants
Zhao Shen Cao, Rexis Mejia and Nolberto Vasquez On Friday, May 10th three bar owners were arraigned in Magistrate’s Court where they were charged for employing a person not in possession of a valid working permit. Those charged included Zhao Shen Cao, 40, owner of Fusion Bar; Nolberto Amancio Vasquez, 38, owner of La Catracha Bar and Rexis Mejia, 31, owner of Long Island Bar. Cao is accused of employing a female Honduran national, Evelyn Rosinos Dias, who was not in possession of a working permit. He pleaded guilty to the offense and since he was a first time offender, Magistrate Dale Cayetano fined Cao $1,000 plus a $5.00 cost of court which he has until August 31st, 2013 or to pay in default 6 months imprisonment. Vasquez was accused of employing Honduran national, Osiris Yovileth Morodel Padilla at his bar. He also pleaded guilty and was fined $1,000 plus a $5.00 cost of court which he is to pay by August 31st, 2013, or in default 6 months imprisonment. Mejia was similarly charged with three counts of employing a person not in possession of a valid working permit where she pleaded guilty to the offence. Allegations are that on May 9th, 2013, she employed three Honduran nationals, Nuri Isabella Ramos Castro, Myrna Alexandra Duron Hernandez, and Silvia George Castillo Castro. Mejia was fine $1,000 for each count which she must pay by August 31st, 2013 ot default 6 months imprisonment.

Busted with 50 Pounds of Weed
29-year-old taxi driver, Walter Beaton, 28-year-old fisherman, Pedro Ayuso, and 36-year-old boat captain, Kirk Dougal were busted with over 50 pounds of weed on Saturday, May 11th. According to police, officers at the Mile 3 ½ checkpoint on the George Price Highway stopped a cream colored van with three occupants inside at about 8:40 p.m. on Saturday. The driver was asked to pull over to the side and a search of the vehicle led to the discovery of a brown crocus sack in the backseat. The crocus sack contained what appeared to be cannabis. The occupants of the vehicle, Beaton, Ayuso and Dougal, were arrested and taken to the Queen Street Police Station where the cannabis was weighed. It amounted to 25.1 kilograms, more than 50 pounds. The trio was arrested and charged with drug trafficking. The men appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Monday, May 13th. They pleaded not guilty to the charge of drug trafficking and Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer granted bail in the sum of $15,000. Bail was not granted to Dougal because he has outstanding fines before the court. Court records show that he owes the court $41,360 for drug convictions in 2003 and 2006. The men are due back in court on June 28th.

Security Guard gunned down in San Ignacio Town
A security guard has been gunned down in San Ignacio Town. Randy Tyrell Casey, 23, was discovered on May 10th, in San Ignacio Town gasping for air at about 8:00 pm as his life slowly ebbed from him. Casey was an employee of Force Security and was on duty last Friday night at Kenny’s Store on Flamingo Avenue in San Ignacio Town. While Casey worked in San Ignacio, he was a resident of Camalote Village. He was armed with a .22 pistol at the time and was standing outside the store, when he was approached by a male dressed in a black T-shirt and a black ¾ pants and also wearing a mask over his face. The gunman fired at Casey hitting him to the upper left side of the chest and to the lower left side of the abdomen. The gun shot injuries caused him to fall to the ground. Seeing this, the gun man took away the pistol and then melted into the night. Meanwhile, the victim was rushed to the San Ignacio Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police have since recovered one black magazine containing eight .22 live rounds of ammunition as well as a slug.

Albert Clother charged for Conspiracy to Commit Murder
On the evening of Friday, March 22nd, 19-year-old Samuel Clifton Halliday was the target of an assassination attempt which took place at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Vernon Street. According to police, Halliday was near the traffic lights on Vernon Street when he was approached by a gunman who opened fire at him. Halliday escaped death and police have since made an arrest in relation to the shooting incident. On Monday, May 13th, Albert Alexander Clother, a resident of #24 Lindos Alley in Belize City, was slapped with one count of attempted murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder against Halliday. Allegations are that he plotted with a minor in the attempted murder of Halliday. Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer took no plea from Clother and due to the nature of the offense, bail could not be granted. Clother was remanded to the Belize Central Prison.

Excelsior Student Needs Surgery for Broken Jaw
The family of 19-year-old Shafane Flowers, astudent of Excelsior High School, is seeking financial assistance so that she can undergo corrective surgery for a broken jaw she suffered during a conflict at school. According to police report, Flowers was at school on Thursday, May 9th, when she was ordered to sit at a picnic table by a school warden. She told police that when she sat at the table her schoolmate, 18-year-old Ernest Leslie, said, “I nuh wah she sit by me”. To that Flowers responded, “I nuh need fi sit beside you.” The two continued to quarrel in which they called each other names. According to Flowers, she got up and while she was walking away, Leslie told her that she would see what will happen the next time she points in his face. Flowers responded, “You can’t play with me, Ernest.” That was when Leslie walked towards her and punched her to the left jaw. She fell to the ground and Leslie kicked her to the left side of the face and in her back. After the attack, Flowers got her bicycle and rode home. Her mother then took her to the police station to make a report. Before filing a report, she was taken to the hospital where a doctor classified her injury as grievous harm due to a broken jaw. Ernest Leslie was arrested and charged for committing grievous harm upon Flowers. The doctor at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital recommended that she see a specialist to treat the injury. According to Flowers’ mother, Shirley Mejia, the cost of the surgery required is $5,000 and the family does not have the money available. Anyone wishing to assist the family can contact the family at telephone number 669-2986.

George Dakers Charged for grabbing Little Girl’s Butt
On Monday, May 13th, 48-year-old George Dakers appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to answer to a charge of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 10-year-old girl. In the presence of her guardian, the child reported to police that on Saturday, May 11th, she visited Dakers’ home on Freedom Street in the Port Loyola area to barrow a nail. She said it was then that Dakers grabbed one side of her buttocks. The act annoyed the child and she immediately went to inform her guardian. The guardian took the child to make a report and court action was requested. Dakers was unrepresented in court before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. He pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was offered bail in the sum of $1,500 plus one surety of the same amount. Prosecutor Hector Rodriguez asked for conditions to be imposed along with the bail. Magistrate Frazer ordered Dakers to stay away from the victim. He is due back in court on July 8th.

Jury acquits Woman of Manslaughter
A Jury has acquitted 26-year-old Leshawn Lino of manslaughter. In a late Wednesday evening verdict, the jury voted 8 to 1 in favor of acquitting her of a charge of manslaughter. In September of 2010, Lino was accused of killing her common-law-husband, Ex-BDF, soldier, 24-year-old Shamir Henry, after she inflicted a single stab wound to his neck. On Wednesday May 15th, Justice Adolph Lucas summed up the case and at 4:00 p.m., a jury of 7 women and 2 men stepped into the deliberating room to decide her fate after which they came out with a not guilty verdict. | On Tuesday May 13th, Lino told the court that “I have three child, two daughters and a son. On September 2nd, 2010, at about 7:00 p.m., the day before my birthday, I was at home inside sitting with my son, when my daughter came and said Shamir wanted to see me. I put my son in the couch and went outside to see him. Since it was the day before my birthday, I thought he had come to wish me happy birthday; I was excited to see him. When I got in front of him, instead of being greeted by a hug and a birthday greeting, he grabbed me in my hair and started to punch me on the left side of my face, near the temple area. He slapped me on the right cheek. I got kicked in my stomach and punched in my chest.

Women fighting over how to talk to a 2-year-old
A dispute over how to talk to a child between two women got really ugly and on Tuesday, May 14th the women were charged with criminal offenses after the fight got out of control. On Monday, May 13th, 2013, at about 7:30 p.m., 36-year-old Stefanie Vargas and 28-year-old Chanique Robinson were engaged in a fight that resulted in both women causing harm to each other. The two women appeared before the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to answer to separate charges after they both made a report against each other. The first to be arraigned in court was Robinson, who appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano in Court #4 where she was read a single charge of wounding upon Stephanie Vargas. Vargas on the other hand was charged with harm and common-assault upon Robinson.

What does the Bible and Human History say about same sex marriage?”
While the Bible does address homosexuality, it does not explicitly mention gay marriage/same-sex marriage. It is clear, however, that the Bible condemns homosexuality as an immoral and unnatural sin. Leviticus 18:22 identifies homosexual sex as an abomination, a detestable sin. Romans 1:26-27 declares homosexual desires and actions to be shameful, unnatural, lustful, and indecent. First Corinthians 6:9 states that homosexuals are unrighteous and will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Since both homosexual desires and actions are condemned in the Bible, it is clear that homosexuals “marrying” is not God’s will, and would be, in fact, sinful. Whenever the Bible mentions marriage, it is between a male and a female. The first mention of marriage, Genesis 2:24, describes it as a man leaving his parents and being united to his wife. In passages that contain instructions regarding marriage, such as 1 Corinthians 7:2-16 and Ephesians 5:23-33, the Bible clearly identifies marriage as being between a man and a woman. Biblically speaking, marriage is the lifetime union of a man and a woman, primarily for the purpose of building a family and providing a stable environment for that family. The Bible alone, however, does not have to be used to demonstrate this understanding of marriage. The biblical viewpoint of marriage has been the universal understanding of marriage in every human civilization in world history. History argues against gay marriage. Modern secular psychology recognizes that men and women are psychologically and emotionally designed to complement one another. In regard to the family, psychologists contend that a union between a man and woman in which both spouses serve as good gender role models is the best environment in which to raise well-adjusted children. Psychology argues against gay marriage. In nature/physicality, clearly, men and women were designed to “fit” together sexually. With the “natural” purpose of sexual intercourse being procreation, clearly only a sexual relationship between a man and a woman can fulfill this purpose. Nature argues against gay marriage.

Infant Entrepreneurs Impressive at Business Fair
One area in which Belizean children have long been behind those in developed countries is financial literacy. Belize has a culture where children are excluded from financial conversations in the home. This causes them to have a limited understanding of crucial life concepts such as budgeting and saving. Fortunately for a few, there are some parents, who encourage their children to save at a young age. Such children usually grow up to be more financially responsible than others. The Ministry of Education hopes to extend that sense of financial responsibility to all Belizean children. That is why they formed a partnership with Peacework International and Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) to promote financial literacy in the education system of Belize. Since 2008, Peacework and PWC have held financial literacy camps for students of Belize City from the age of 5 to 18. They establish camp sites in several schools across the city in which the participants learn concepts such as saving and investing, keys to starting a profitable business, establishing a budget for a business, creating a brand and targeting a customer base. The overall intention is to heighten the students’ entrepreneurial spirit. Teachers have played a huge role in those camps and they have kept the concepts from camp inside the classroom.

More Flights and Cruise Calls to Belize
After a record breaking first quarter, in terms of tourist arrivals, the tourism industry continues to benefit from good news. Starting in November of this year, Delta Airlines will be adding an additional Saturday flight from Atlanta to Belize. Delta currently deploys seven flights a week (one flight per day) to Belize. Increasing its total number of flights to eight per week will add an additional 596 seats per month. According to the airline company, this additional Saturday flight will be a permanent addition to Delta's schedule to Belize. The Belize Tourism Board also announced that American Airlines will be increasing the number of flights from Dallas to Belize from three to seven flights per week in the month of October. That is a total of 600 additional seats. BTB’s Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Alyssa Carnegie, said, “These flights are being increased during a time that was generally considered to be a slow time for traveling by air. It shows amazing growth and more opportunities for the industry and Belize.” There is also positive news in the cruise tourism sector. Royal Caribbean International announced that they will deploy the recently remodeled “Navigator of the Seas” year round out of Galveston, Texas, starting in winter of 2013. This means that Belize will receive a total of 30 calls in 2014 by the vessel that recently added unique features such as a Flow Rider Surf Simulator and the first ever Virtual Balcony. For the past two years, Belize has not had more than 10 calls from “Navigator of the Seas”. This increase in cruise calls is expected to bring over ninety thousand cruise visitors to Belize.

2nd Annual Solidarity Day with Persons Living With HIV
On Friday, May 17th, the National AIDS Commission will be holding a Solidarity Walk for persons living with HIV. Since 1983, the Candle Light Memorial is celebrated in May to remember the countless lives lost to illnesses associated with advanced HIV. Today, more than 115 countries worldwide unite in this memorial every year. This initiative aims, among many other things, to create greater social conscience of HIV that will translate in a decrease in the number of new infections and an eradication of stigma and discrimination towards persons living with HIV. The Solidarity Walk begins at 3:30 p.m. in front of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and end at the PASMO office where a Candle Light Memorial will be held at 4:30 p.m. The Solidarity Day with Persons Living with HIV is an opportunity for persons living with HIV, their family and friends to step out of the shadows and unite to voice their demands for greater access to high quality healthcare and share stories of hope and solidarity. According to the National AIDS Commission, “with approximately 33 million persons living with HIV worldwide and more than 5,000 in Belize, this event will continue to break down barriers in Belize by giving a face to HIV and hope to new generations…an HIV free Belize generation!”

Holy Redeemer Girls and St. Martin De Porres Boys are Belize District Primary Schools Basketball Champions
The 2012-2013 Belize District Primary Schools Basketball Championship came to an end on Friday, May 10th, at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City. In the girls’ championship game, Holy Redeemer School edged Belize Elementary School by the score of 15-14 to capture the 2012-2013 Belize District Primary Schools Basketball title and the right to represent the district at the National Primary Schools Basketball Competition scheduled for May 24th, 2013. The top scorer for Holy Redeemer School was Zaria Jenkins with 10 points, while the top scorer for Belize Elementary School was Donna Che with 6 points. In the first girls’ game of the day, Holy Redeemer School defeated Holy Cross Anglican School from San Pedro by the score of 18-2. The top scorer for Holy Redeemer was Diana Elijio with 8 points while Tatyana Estrada scored the 2 points for Holy Cross Anglican School. In the second game, it was Belize Elementary School that defeated Lucky Strike Government School by the score of 18-4. The top scorer for Belize Elementary School was Chelsea Williams with 9 points, while Shenieva Herbert scored all 4 points for Lucky Strike Government School.

Belize at The Business of Sport International Conference
Minister Herman Longsworth receiving a copy of the Jamaican Sport Policy from Minister Natalie Neita- Headley The Hon. Herman Longsworth, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports with direct responsibilities for youth and sports along with Patrick Henry Acting. National Sports Director attended the 3rd Annual The Business of Sports International Conference held under the theme “Change the Game” at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica, from April 30th – May 3rd, 2013. The three days working conference brought together key presenters from Canada, United Kingdom, USA and Jamaica who all presented on the role of sports as a business including the issue of Branding, which includes both athletes and merchandises (Rule 40) of the International Olympic Committee and how it is applied to Caribbean countries; as well as a lunch presentation on the topic “Sports for All” that was presented by the Hon. Michael Fennel, Immediate Past President of the Commonwealth Games Federation and the current President of the Jamaican Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association. The conference organizers also took the advantage of having three Caricom Ministers of Sports at the conference and were able to include onto the official programme a ministerial presentation segment. The Ministers of Sports that were in attendance at the conference and whom participated in the ministerial segment included the Hon. Herman Longsworth, the Hon. Stephen Lashley (Barbados) and the Hon. Natalie Neita-Headley (Jamaica). The ministers also responded to questions that were posted to them by the audience.

FC Belize to face Police United in Premier League Football championship
The closing season for the Premier League of Belize Football Competition is fast coming to an end. The semi-final round of the championship came to an end on Sunday May 12th, 2013 at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town when the Police United team eliminated the Belize Defence Force by the score of 2-1. The first half of the game ended 0-0 and it was until the second half that both teams were able to score. The visiting Police United was able to get onto the scoreboard first when Daniel Jimenez scored the 1st of his 2 goals in the 50th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. However, that lead was short -lived when Byrone Usher scored the equalizing goal for his team in the 60th minute of play. With the game fast winding down, Daniel Jimenez struck again when he landed his 2nd goal of the game in the 88th minute of play for a 2-1 lead that eventually proved to be the margin of victory for the Police United Team. This is the third seasons in as many that the Police United Team will appear in the championship game.

Belize Rural Softball Competition in Full Swing
The Belize Rural Softball competition continued on Sunday May 12th, 2013, with four games on the schedule. In the first game played, Easy Does It defeated St. Paul’s Bank by the score of 12-2. The winning pitcher was Margaret Hendy and the losing pitcher was Jacqueline Cassasola. In game two, Butter Cup Uprising won over Arrows Reloaded from Bermudian Landing by the score of 15-10. The winning pitcher was Trecia Flores and the losing pitcher was Christine Brackett. In game three, Ladyville Rising Star won over Village Gyal by the score of 14-10. The winning pitcher was Crystal Hernandez and the loss was tagged to Angie Smith. In the fourth and final game of the day, UB Jaguars blanked Mell’s United by the score of 11-0. Herlette Clarke picked up for the win and Valerie Vernon was tagged with the loss.

Religious Rights
An interesting idea has emerged from some quarters that challenging religious dogma is in some way an attack on freedom of religion. Strangely, many of the people who hold this view are outraged that in some Muslim countries there is no freedom of religion. People can face the death penalty for blasphemy against Islam, apostasy (or leaving Islam for another religion or no religion at all for a person born a Muslim) is forbidden, and a fatwah (or permission to execute a person) can be issued against anyone including the famous author Salman Rushdie. I think we can all agree that such restrictions are not part of Belizean culture or tradition and we would not want anything similar here to protect Christian beliefs. True freedom of religion includes the right of others not to agree with your particular beliefs. Most organised religions have regular, usually weekly, opportunities to put forward their own beliefs. Sometimes their spokespersons use this opportunity to outline all the good things that their particular brand of faith has to offer; sometimes they spend their time pointing out the weaknesses in the beliefs of other brands and sometimes they highlight the trials and tribulations awaiting those who transgress in some way against their religious doctrine. This is all perfectly permissible and is in no way restricted because some people may not agree with any particular point of view. As with all freedoms, freedom of speech is not absolute. If such preaching incites hatred or encourages violence against others then it is no longer protected by the right of free speech because it imperils the freedom of others to live without the fear of violence. There are differences of opinion within denominations. One sector of the Episcopal Church in the USA has recently elected an openly gay bishop and other individual churches and church members have a welcoming attitude. However, the mainstream denominations in Belize are implacably opposed to homosexuality. These church members and preachers are free to believe that certain practices are immoral, unnatural or wrong. They are equally free to say these things both in their religious services and within the public domain. However, those who do not agree are equally free to express their disagreement both within the Church and in the public domain. Just as those who oppose decriminalisation of sodomy are free to believe and preach that it is an abomination, those who disagree are free to believe and state that such an opinion is bigoted. Most of the latter are offended at being told that their behaviour is an abomination and most of the former do not like to be called bigots but that is the price of religious freedom.

Amandala

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT SHATTERS THE JAW OF FEMALE STUDENT ON SCHOOL COMPOUND
An honor student of Excelsior High School has been arrested and will face charges of grievous harm for punching a female student in the face and stomping her when she fell to the ground. The incident occurred at about 1:00 p.m. last Thursday, May 9, on the Excelsior High School compound on Fabers Road. The blow to the girl’s face was so forceful that her jaw was shattered, and she must undergo surgery to repair the damage. The cost of the surgery, which the girl’s mother said is to be conducted by a specialist in Orange Walk, is $5,000 – money that the girl’s family does not have. Witnesses told police that the student punched the girl, Shafane Flowers, 19, viciously on the left side of her face with his right hand, and when she fell, he stomped her several times. According to Flowers, who reported the matter at a police station that same Thursday afternoon, she was instructed by a school warden to sit on a picnic bench. A male student who had been bullying her for the past few weeks was already seated on the bench, however, and he reportedly told her, “I don’t want you to sit near me.” Flowers reported that she responded to the young man’s remark by saying, “There is no need for me to sit beside you.”

BUDNA GETS 25 YEARS IN GUAT JAIL
Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala, H.E. Alfredo Martinez, has confirmed to Amandala that former Belizean freelance journalist, Joseph Budna, 33, has been sentenced, after his trial concluded last Friday in Guatemala, to 25 years in prison for the kidnapping of a US teenager, Luis Byron Reyes Onofre, back in August 2012. Budna has claimed that Onofre had colluded with him and his associates to stage a fake kidnapping so that the youth could get money from his dad. The father, Luis August Reyes Salazar, was asked to pay a million quetzals (just over quarter-million Belize dollars) to have his son, who was being held in Honduras, freed, and the reports indicate that two sums of money were paid by the father before his son was released to his custody. Ambassador Martinez said that based on his recollection, this is the first time a Belizean has been convicted of such a crime in Guatemala.

LESHAWN LINO, 26, ACQUITTED OF MANSLAUGHTER
Lino was accused of stabbing Shamir “Metro” Henry, 23, in his neck in September, 2010. Leshawn Lino, 26, a mother of three, was acquitted last night after a jury of nine found her not guilty of manslaughter in a ratio of 8 to1. Lino was accused of stabbing Shamir “Metro” Henry, 23, in his throat on September 2, 2011, causing him to bleed to death after he collapsed on the street. The incident occurred on Cahal Pech Street in the Belize Defence Force Housing site in Lords Bank Village. Reports are that Henry went to visit Lino, the mother of his child, at her house sometime after 7:00 that night. The house is located a short distance from the street, so Lino had to walk out to Henry, a distance of about 25 yards. A few minutes later, Lino was seen running toward her house, screaming for someone to call the police. Henry was then observed lying on the ground, apparently dead from a wound to his neck. During the trial, which started last week Wednesday, May 8, Henry’s mother, Rose Henry, testified that when she arrived at the scene, she saw her son lying on the ground, apparently dead. She said that Lino then ran to her saying, “Ah neva mean it, ah neva mean it, Ms. Rose.”

WORKER KILLS CHINESE BUSINESSMAN IN WORK PLACE
A Chinese businessman, Wei Tao Liu, 42, died after being beaten in the back of the head by one of his workers, who is now on the run. The incident occurred about 1:00 this morning. Liu was reportedly with his workers at his business, the Foam Factory, at Mile 12 on the George Price Highway, when he was hit in the back of the head, reportedly with a piece of iron, by one of the workers. After the worker hit Liu, he reportedly took the keys for Liu’s white Toyota Tacoma,L/PC-37288, and drove away in it. Liu was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:00 a.m. His body was then taken to the morgue, where it awaits a post-mortem. Lee Mark Chan, president of the Chinese Association of Belize, said that the association is working closely with the police to capture the man who killed his friend, and they are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and conviction.

MR. PETERS’ GRANDSON EXECUTED
Gunman stood guard at back door; his accomplices kicked down the front door, went inside and shot Peters multiple times. Wilfred Peters III, 26, the grandson of the beloved musician and Belizean cultural icon, the late Sir Wilfred Peters, died almost instantly after three killers stomped down his door, went into his house in the Racoon Street Extension area, and shot him about 6 times in his head, face and body. The incident occurred at about 1:30 this morning. Neighbors told Amandala that about five men went to Peters’ house: one stationed himself at the back door, and another stood guard at the front door area, while the other three kicked down the front door. When Peters got out of his bed to see what was happening, one of the gunmen shot him. The killer then stood over him and fired multiple shots into his head and body. The murderers then ran out of the house and escaped. Neighbors, alarmed by the noise of the door being kicked down, and the explosions of the murderous gunfire, quickly called police, who rushed to the scene of the crime. They conducted a search of the area, but the killers had already escaped.

KAREEM HAMILTON, 26, PLEADS GUILTY TO AN UNNATURAL CRIME
For his crime against a 15-year-old student with disabilities, Hamilton was given 4 years Kareem Hamilton, 26, shocked a packed courtroom this afternoon when he changed his not guilty plea to guilty even before a jury was selected to hear his trial. Hamilton was accused of committing an unnatural act against a male minor, 15 at the time, who is also a student with disabilities. According to the facts of the case which were read out after Hamilton changed his plea, on April 28, 2011, Hamilton, who was 24 at the time, told the child that he had something for him and later that evening, the child went to his house, located on Morter’s Lane. When the child went to his home, Hamilton had anal sex with him. The next day, the child’s step-mother noticed that the child was walking differently and when she asked him about it, the child complained of having pain.

THE BIG DANCE AT THE MCC THIS SUNDAY – FC BELIZE VS POLICE UNITED IN GAME 1 OF PLB CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS
All roads lead to the MCC Garden this Sunday afternoon, where the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Closing Season 2012-2013 home-and-away championship series kicks off at 4:00 p.m. The home team in this one will be FC Belize; and the visitors, Police United. (Game 2 is next Saturday night in Belmopan.) The PLB Opening and Closing seasons for 2012-2013 have been two hotly contested competitions. In the Opening Season late last year, FC Belize missed making the playoffs due to goal difference only, having tied in points with BDF. BDF lost in the playoffs to Police, who then fell to Belmopan Bandits in the finals. Being from two different groups in the Opening Season, FC Belize and Police United had met only once in an “out-of-zone” meeting, and it was Police over FC Belize, 3-nil. But in this Closing Season, the reduced number of teams, 8, all played together in a double round-robin, and FC Belize prevailed in both encounters with Police, 1-0 and 2-0. Two key additions in this Closing Season for FC Belize have been veteran midfielders Mark “Kelo” Leslie and Norman “Tilliman” Nunez, who have added stability and experience to a very young FC Belize team. FC Belize recently lost the services of their former captain, Cristobal Gilharry, the only FC Belize player who was selected to the national team for the Copa Centroamericana in January of this year. For their part, Police United FC features a number of stars from that history-making national selection – Danny Jimenez, Evan Mariano, Trevor “Burger” Lennen, Andres Makin, Jr., and Devon Makin.

A FLAWED POLITICAL SYSTEM Editorial
Even UDP loyalists have to admit that there is a moral crisis in the Dean Barrow government. For the second time in weeks, the Prime Minister seems unable to speak publicly to a scandal in his administration because the problem is too close to his Deputy Prime Minister, and the Deputy Prime Minister is, of course, too close to him. Noh Mul has come too soon after rosewood. The Prime Minister’s moral authority has been subverted. He can’t do anything to address the situation because the Deputy Prime Minister is untouchable, politically speaking. We saw a similar thing happen in August of 2004 when the then Prime Minister, Said Musa, less than a year after his PUP was re-elected to a second term of office, decided that he could not listen to seven of his Cabinet Ministers. Finance Minister Ralph Fonseca was untouchable. The second Musa administration lost its moral authority less than a year after being re-elected: the second Barrow administration has lost its moral authority a little more than a year after being re-elected. After the second Musa administration lost its moral authority, it remained in office for more than three and a half years. The likelihood is now great that this Barrow administration, even though it has lost its moral authority, will remain in office for a similar period. When an administration loses its moral authority, it has a difficult time governing, and crisis follows crisis. We have a flawed political system in Belize. The evidence has mounted to support the argument there should be some changes made.

FROM THE PUBLISHER
When a man grows old, he no longer has the same capacity for righteous anger. In my case, if whimsy had not replaced some of my passion, I suppose I would have been a candidate for the local insane asylum and/or some kind of seizure. Remember, four plus decades ago, I wrote of hatred in our eyelashes. Now, those eyelashes are grey, and a form of tolerance has taken residence there. When I returned home from college 45 years ago, there were light-skinned Creoles who could not come to grips with the fact that there was some African ancestry in their genes. These were people in absolute denial, and denial is one of the worst mental conditions with which you can be afflicted. Denial of their African reality had become a place of psychic refuge for these particular Creoles, because the racist reality of slave and colonial Belize had made it so that Africa was portrayed as the darkest of pagan, cannibal, hell holes, while Europe was considered a region of absolute light, enlightenment, and Judeo-Christian civilization. On the Garifuna side, there are prominent Garifuna people who speak only of their Carib and Arawak indigenous ancestry. The scholar Nancy Gonzales claimed one time that the DNA of the Garifuna was 75 percent African. There seems to me some kind of a disconnect between what she is saying and what some Garifuna leaders choose to emphasize, but I won’t pursue this subject.

FECTAB PREZ WRITES NICH PREZ Letters
by Tom Greenwood Ms. Diane Haylock President National Institute of Culture and History (NICH). Dear Ms. Haylock, FECTAB hereby joins the voices, both national and international, in totally condemning the atrocity which was perpetrated on the Belizean people, and our Maya people in particular, when the entities shown on the media worldwide, were seen to be responsible for the monstrous act of destruction on the main temple at the archaeological site of NOH MUL in the Orange Walk District. Words cannot describe this event. Only criminals would carry out such a barbarous act. Please be reminded that, as a tour guide, several years ago my attention was called to a similar event while I was in Orange Walk Town on a Lamanai transfer. I picked up other guides in that town, and made our way to the same site, to see destruction being carried out on a small temple at Noh Mul, again, of course, to acquire raw material. We quickly notified the authorities and put a stop to the illegal activity, with the help of the police. No one was prosecuted, if I remember right.

“MY COMPANY SHOULD PAY FOR NOH MUL’S DESTRUCTION.” – DENNY GRIJALVA
Denny Grijalva, owner and managing director of De’ Mar’s Stone Company and the man who unsuccessfully contested the last general elections for the United Democratic Party in Orange Walk Central in 2012, told Amandala this afternoon that his company should be fined for the destruction of the Noh Mul Archaeological Site last week, when it was reported that an excavator belonging to Grijalva’s company had hacked into the Maya ceremonial monument to obtain gravel for landfill. “My company should be fined, because we did something wrong,” Grijalva, who was born in Guatemala but who has lived in Belize since his youth, told us. However, he added that it is unfair for his company to get all the blame for the destruction of the monument, because, as he puts it, others had been digging for landfill from the site for years. He said that his foreman, Javier Nunez, had only been working in the area for a day and there is no way he could have caused the damage reported in that short space of time. Some reports say that more than half of the Maya monument, once the tallest structure in that part of the country, had been hacked away.

NEW US TAX LAW – FATCA – “VERY AMBITIOUS,” SAYS US EMBASSY OFFICIAL
Joseph Boski, Political and Economic Section Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan, Belize, told Amandala today that the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which will see its full implementation in 2014, was put into place to ensure better tax compliance. “The principle is pretty clear,” said Boski. “The FATCA law addresses tax compliance.” The FATCA applies also to Belizeans with dual US nationality, as well as “green card” holders and US nationals living in Belize or any person in those categories who have financial interest in Belize, including offshore bank accounts. Boski said the FATCA is “very ambitious” and he hopes it will be very effective, as well. He notes that anyone who is paying US taxes or should be paying those taxes and who has financial assets overseas should double-check whether they need to report financial assets overseas. This, he said, especially applies to US citizens or financial institutions overseas doing business with US citizens located either overseas or in the US.

IDEAS AND OPINIONS – THE NATIONAL PRAYER
Some years before Independence, the Government of Belize chose a name for our country, a national flag, a national anthem and, national symbols, a tree, a bird, a flower and an animal. They also commissioned the composition of a prayer and declared it to be our National Prayer. The prayer was to be said on special occasions and it was decided that it should be read at the beginning of every meeting of the House of Representatives. Reading of the National Prayer by the Speaker at the beginning of every meeting of the House of Representatives became a tradition, beginning with the first session of the House after self-government in 1964 and continuing up to the last meeting before the general elections of 1984, when the United Democratic Party replaced the People’s United Party as the Government of Belize. End of tradition. No National Prayer from 1984 to 1989. From 1989 to 1993, the tradition was renewed. There was another break from 1993 to 1998, renewed again from 1998 to 2008, broken from 2008 up to the present. Good traditions contribute to the unity and strength of a nation. Having a national prayer to be said on special ceremonial occasions, when we ask for divine intervention in our affairs and blessings on the deliberations of our leaders, is certainly a tradition worth preserving and, there is no more fitting occasion than a meeting of our Legislature.

THE MOBILITY REVOLUTION
pgs. 58-60, The End of Power, by Moisés Naím, Basic Books, New York, 2013) Nowadays, remittances are more than five times larger than the world’s total foreign aid and larger than the annual total flow of foreign investment to poor countries. In short, workers who live outside their home country – and who are often very poor themselves – send more money to their country than foreign investors, and more than rich countries send as foreign aid. Not only are there more people today, more of whom live fuller and healthier lives: they also move around a lot more. That makes them harder to control. It also changes the distribution of power within and among populations, whether through the rise of ethnic, religious, and professional diasporas or as individual vectors of ideas, capital, and faiths that can be either destabilizing or empowering. The United Nations estimates that there are 214 million migrants across the globe, an increase of 37 percent in the last two decades. In that same period, the number of migrants grew by 41 percent in Europe and by 80 percent in North America. We are experiencing a Mobility revolution, in which more people are moving than at any other time in world history.

The Reporter

Painter charged with aggravated assault
A Belize City painter pleaded not guilty in the Magistrate’s Court on Monday, when he was arraigned on a charge of aggravated assault of an indecent nature, before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. George Dakers, 48, a painter and resident of Freedom Street, was released on a bail of $1,500 and [...]

Man sentenced for sodomy
A Belize City man, indicted on a changed of sodomy, was sentenced to four years in prison, after he changed his ‘not guilty’ plea to guilty, in the Supreme Court of Justice Troaido Gonzalez.

STRONGER! Special Envoy for women and Children: A healthy dose of hope is the best medicine for cancer
It has long since been said that strength does not come from physical capacity, but rather it comes from an indomitable will—(Mahatma Gandhi). And, with the rising number of cancer cases, people around the world get to see the truth of Ghandi’s words epitomized in the lives of those who [...]

Government outraged over Noh Mul destruction
The deplorable destruction of the Noh Mul archeological site has prompted an aggressive response from the government. CEO in the Ministry of Tourism, Tracy Panton, said that once the Institute of Archeology concludes its damage assessment and formal report of the site, the report will be forwarded to the office [...]

UB Lecturer blows whistle; says UB is over-charging
University of Belize is overcharging students, UB lecturer and social activist Patrick Menzies said Thursday. Menzies, speaking at a press conference and flanked by two U.B. students, said that the current structure, as it relates to the credit-per-class acceptance policy and tuition rates, is flawed.

Belize Coast Guard SEALS get U.S. training
The Belize National Coast Guard is preparing to crack down hard on illegal drug trafficking with the assistance of the United States Navy, which provided U.S. Navy SEALS instructors for an intensive five-week training course in special warfare operations, which 24 Coast Guard officers and five Anti-Drug Unit Police officers [...]

Belize Ambassador says 2014 is last chance for referendum
Disrespectful, irresponsible, unforgivable, callous: are just a few of the words that several organizations have used to describe the destruction of the Nuh Mul archeological site; however, Denny Grijalva, the owner of the company responsible for the excavation has stated that the incident was not his fault.

Murders in Belize City, Hattieville
Two men were killedde in separate incidents during the wee hours of Thursday morning. The first happened at a foam factory at Mile 12 1/2 on the George Price Highway, owned and operated by businessman, Wei Tao Liu, 42.

UDP sweeps Village council elections
The United Democratic Party swept the complete slate in 26 of the 44 village councils which held elections on Sunday, May 12, and won a majority in five more for a total of 31 villages which now have newly elected UDP village councils. The party won 202 of the 302 [...]

Grijalva: ‘Noh me’ destroy Noh Mul
Disrespectful, irresponsible, unforgivable, callous: are just a few of the words that several organizations have used to describe the destruction of the Noh Mul archeological site. However, Denny Grijalva, the owner of the company responsible for the excavation, has stated that the incident was not his fault. He issued a [...]

Monumental Ignorance, Irreplaceable loss!
Road contractors have destroyed the main ceremonial plaza of the Noh Mul archeological site, a structure representing more than 2,000 years of Mayan history.

Bee venom destroys HIV and spares surrounding cells
Nanoparticles containing bee venom toxin, melittin, can destroy human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) while at the same time leaving surrounding cells unharmed, scientists from Washington University School of Medicine reported in the March 2013 issue of Antiviral Therapy.

UN urges people to eat insects to fight world hunger
Eating more insects could help fight world hunger, according to a new UN report. The report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization says that eating insects could help boost nutrition and reduce pollution. It notes than over 2 billion people worldwide already supplement their diet with insects. However, it [...]


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#464601 - 05/18/13 12:20 PM Re: Today's Belize News: May 18, 2013 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

Wolverines & Ontario Rebels win in Miley Garcia Softball
Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and Ontario Rebels posted big wins in the fourth week of the Miley Garcia softball competition organized by the Cayo Softball Association in Roaring Creek Village on Sunday, May 12.

Holy Redeemer girls & St Martin’s boys win basketball championships
The girls of Holy Redeemer RC School repeat as the Belize District primary schools basketball champions, while the boys of St. Martin de Porres RC School won the male championship in the district finals organized by the National Sports Council at Bird’s Isle last Friday, May 10.

Guatemala’s Rios Montt guilty of genocide
A court in Guatemala has found former military leader Efrain Rios Montt guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity.

Mexican priest fights for immigration reform in U.S.
Known for his outspoken, unapologetic support of migrants from Mexico, the Rev. Alejandro Solalinde is bringing his message to the United States.

Blogs

Did you know?? Developing a Business Plan can be as easy as 1 2 3
USINESS PLAN GENERAL INFORMATION What is a Business plan? A business plan outlines your vision and goals for your business; it is the roadmap for future development. Importance of the business plan: Crucial when you are seeking financing. It helps investors and financial institutions understand your business and what you intend to spend the money on. It is an important management tool for setting development goals for your business. It is also an evaluation tool as it will help you evaluate where your business is and whether it has achieved any of the objectives you have set.

The 12th Annual-National Tourism Awards
Belize is a destination, best served authentic, and the prestigious “2013 Annual National Belize Tourism Awards”, is your chance to follow as we celebrate one of the most outstanding Tourism Events in Belize. With an allurement that is as captivating as its diversity, join us on Saturday, May 18, 2013, for a “real-time” coverage, via: Face Book, Twitter and YouTube, as you become more intimate with the innovative tourism partners competing to give you the best vacationing experience! From Hotel of the Year, Small Hotel of the Year, Tour Operator of the Year, Hospitality Award, Major Festivals and Events Award, Minister’s Award and more, be inspired and start planning for the time-of-your-life! Having this much fun online is only the start! Enjoy the melodies of popular local artist, such as: Tanya Carter and the Pantempters Steel Pan, and catch a glimpse of paradise as the event gets underway on the secluded Bannister Island, starting 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

“Let’s Do It Again” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Yesterday morning I spent a bit of time ‘bouncing’ emails between myself and Benny’s trying to secure an improvement on the discount they had offered on the appliances (ovens (ranges), microwaves, refrigerators, washer and dryer) we need for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Pleased to say that eventually I did get a small (every bit helps!) improvement so we are ready now to formally place an order. With that out of the way I sent an email to Daniel Camal, our building contractor, in which I detailed the dimensions for all of the appliances we have chosen so that he has the necessary information for when the kitchen (Ground Floor and First Floor) and Utility Room cabinetry and countertops are installed. Rose and I then made a visit to F C’s Aluminum in Sea Grape Drive to enquire about having an aluminium (English spelling) cargo box made for our new golf cart. We want one that we can bolt on when we need it or take it out if we need the back seats for passengers. He is going to think about the design and revert to us with a price. We then set off for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and got there around 2.30 pm to find an eyrie silence. No sound of the cement mixer at work! It became patently obvious why this was so when we saw Porfelio and Angel peering at the engine compartment of the yellow ‘mixer.

Teacher’s Day
Today is teacher’s Day in Belize, I know it’s a bit late but here goes anyway. Teacher’s Day is celebrated as a tribute to the valuable contribution made by teachers to the society by imparting knowledge and enlightening and shaping the career of students. Celebration of Teacher’s Day is fairly popular in many countries across the world and is even acknowledged by UNESCO. Teachers are not just people that teaches you, they impart knowledge that will server you throughout your life; they are your friends, they are philosophers and guides to put and keep you on the right track. Today in Belize is a special day for teachers, not that all days should not be special; but it is a day to celebrate the greatness of all teachers and to express your gratitude for what they do for you and what they give up to provide it to you and for their selfless effort in shaping their career and enriching the education system in the process. Most schools prepare special events for their teachers but nothing says thanks like a heartfelt and sincere thank you that comes for students.

Noh Mul has been clearly marked since the 90′s
Mid 1990′s, I did an extensive photoshoot on the Maya site of Noh Mul. Unfortunately, early 2000, we had a multiple hard drive failures at the studio and lost all except these 4. I always planned on going back … sad indeed …

International Sources

10 Best Wildlife Travel Adventures
(WILDLIFE) Whether you are deep in the outback or on the shore of a coastal cay, every destination is an exciting wildlife adventure waiting to be explored.

Spelunking the Crystal Cave
Cayo's Crystal Cave, also known as Mountain Cow Cave, had a great article written about it lately. Great way to put it: Actun Tunichil Muknal is for tourists, Mountain Cow is for adventurers. Both are great ways to spend the day. "I said it before, but I'll say it again: ATM is for tourists, Crystal is for adventurers. Crystal is different. It was a challenge the memory of which still gets my blood pumping. It is impossible to overstate how incredibly breathtaking it is. It was one of the most exciting and intimate ways I have ever experienced the earth. I will never forget it."

Belize Tops Wildlife Adventure List
Belize was listed first on the list of Best Wildlife Travel Adventures. Of course, due to Cayo, where the wildlife is. The picture is of the Twin Falls, taken from La Capitana pontoon boat on Lake Benque. "Located on the northeastern coast of Central America, Belize is brimming with unique and exciting wildlife. There are approximately 145 species of mammals, 139 species of reptiles and amphibians, and over 500 species of birds that call the Latin American country home. Belize contains remarkable protected parks and coastal cays abundant with indigenous wildlife. To see some of Belize’s rarest animals, such as Baird’s tapirs and scarlet macaws, a tour guide is required, but many exotic animals can be spotted all around the tropical paradise. Swim with sharks and stingrays in the crystal-clear Caribbean waters, and make sure to visit the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary, which is recognized internationally as the world’s first jaguar preserve."


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Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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