The March 22, 2015 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Harrison Drops The Bomb:
    Just 75 days ago Richard Harrison was a national candidate for the People’s United Party and glowing endorsements from his party leader Francis Fonseca. But in quick time after his historic defeat he has faded into obscurity; Harrison disappeared from public view before the votes were finished counting in the Cayo North bi-election. But he has re-appeared quite suddenly with a searing political commentary called “A Post Election View From Under The Bus.” Harrison starts by saying that the party leadership, quote “threw him under the bus” when it endorsed his replacement Michel Chebat without his knowledge. Harrison takes this as disrespect after all he gave in the failed bi-election effort. He then asks, provokingly, “if they cannot uphold their own party’s constitution while in opposition, how can they be expected to uphold the national constitution while in government?”
  • Launching Of “A Walk Through El Cayo”:
    The Institute for Social and Cultural Research today launched a publication titled “A Walk Through El Cayo.” The 48-page paperback book gives a concise history of many of the public spaces around San Ignacio and Santa Elena or what was known in the early days of the settlement as El Cayo. Contributors to the publication included Diana Askari, Francisco Galvez, Jr., Luis Gentle, Hilda Mencias, Hernan Ochaeta and Hector Silva, Sr. Field researchers were Giovanni Pinelo and Selene Solis and the editorial team was led by Nigel Encalada, the Director of the Institute for Social and Cultural Research. Among the areas highlighted in the book are the Hawksworth Bridge, the old San Ignacio Hospital, Sacred Heart Church as well as early business enterprises in Santa Elena town. Copies of the book were given to primary schools that were present at the official launching ceremony which was held at the Cayo Welcome Center. The San Ignacio Library and media representatives who attended also received copies.
  • “A Post Election View From Under The Bus.”:
    Municipal elections in Belize are held every three years and were scheduled for March 4, 2015. General elections to elect members of the House of Representatives are held every five years and must be held by March 2017, but can be called by the Prime Minister at any time before then, with only 30 days notice. Suddenly, in mid-November 2014, People’s United Party (PUP) elected area representative for Cayo North (Hon. Joseph Mahmud) resigned as standard bearer for his party, and I (among others) was called by senior party officials inviting me to participate in intra-party convention to elect a new standard bearer that would represent the party in the next general elections. After some consultation with people in the area, I decided to accept this invitation, and started to do some ground work in the division.
  • Official Swearing In Of The New Mayor And Councillors Of San Ignacio and Santa Elena:
    The new San Ignacio/Santa Elena town council officially took office on Monday, March 16, 2015. Mayor Earl Trapp and his councillors were sworn in during a short ceremony held on Sunday afternoon at the Cayo Welcome Center by Senior Justice of the Peace Elulogio Cano. Prior to the start of the swearing in ceremony, Mayor Trapp and the councilors went around greeting the people who had gathered to witness the event and to enjoy the entertainment provided by the Super Furia Band.
  • Land Fraud Cases:
    The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA), through the Lands and Surveys Department, has launched an investigation into fraud cases involving land titles that were recently discovered. The preliminary investigation suggests that there is a systematic effort being orchestrated by persons of both foreign and local nationalities to obtain property by fraudulent means. The perpetrators use fraudulent international passport and other forms of identification to usurp the identity of real land owners to obtain property and subsequently proceed to fraudulently transfer land titles to prospective buyers by forging signatures of MNRA officials in an effort to make the documents appear legitimate as though they were issued from the Lands and Surveys Department. It appears that the con artists are targeting properties owned by absentee landowners who reside abroad.
  • National Elite Basketball League - All Star Night:
    The NEBL will be hosting its first ever All Star Night on Friday, April 10 at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town. The All Star Game will tip off at 8 p.m., with North versus South. Entrance fee is $10 general admission and $15 for VIP seating. Children under 10 years of age pay $5. Teams from the North will be Orange Walk Running Rebels, Belize Hurricanes, Belize City No Limit and San Pedro Tiger Sharks and teams that make up the South are Belmopan Red Taigaz, Cayo Western Ballaz, Dangriga Warriors and Toledo Diplomats. The starting five for both teams will be selected by the fans, via Facebook likes. Fans are encouraged to visit the NEBL Facebook page, click on the picture of their player and “Like” their favorite player. The players with the most FB “Likes” will be the starting 5 for both teams. Only 2 players from one team can be on the starting 5.
  • Bishop Martin Project:
    Twelve twelfth grade students from Toronto District Christian High School (TDC)(Ontario, Canada) landed in Belize City last week Wednesday, March 11. They stayed in San Ignacio making a daily trip to Bishop Martin Roman Catholic School where they began construction on a new cafeteria. TDChristian sends down students every year during their 'March Break' off school to volunteer their time here in Belize. This year's team consisted of twelve students, Monika, Sewa, Allison V., Chloe, Joey, Katie, Gavin, Melissa, Mark, Arie, Allison E., and Amber, as well as three chaperones, Ms. Marg, Mrs. Evelyn, and Mr. Rod. During their time in Belize the students learned new skills, interacted with elementary students, and toured the country.
  • The Forgotten History of Gay Marriage:
    Editor’s note: This post is a Care2 favorite. It was originally published on March 14, 2012. Since then, there have been many changes and advancements in LGBT rights around the world. The information in this post still holds true, though, and is an important reminder. Enjoy! Republicans and other opponents of gay marriage often speak of marriage as being a 2,000 year old tradition (or even older). Quite apart from the fact that the definition of marriage has changed from when it was a business transaction, usually between men, there is ample evidence that within just Christian tradition, it has changed from the point where same-sex relationships were not just tolerated but celebrated. In the famous St. Catherine’s monastery on Mount Sinai, there is an icon which shows two robed Christian saints getting married. Their ‘pronubus’ (official witness, or “best man”) is none other than Jesus Christ. The happy couple are 4th Century Christian martyrs, Saint Serge and Saint Bacchus — both men. Severus of Antioch in the sixth century explained that “we should not separate in speech [Serge and Bacchus] who were joined in life.” More bluntly, in the definitive 10th century Greek account of their lives, Saint Serge is described as the “sweet companion and lover (erastai)” of St. Bacchus.
  • GOB Improving School Environment For Students & Teachers In Belmopan:
    The Government of Belize recognizing the critical importance of ensuring a more pleasant school environment for the delivery of quality education to students provided school furniture and computers to the Belmopan Methodist High School in the nation’s capital. The donation includes 100 student Armchairs, 15 chairs, three teachers desks, one cupboard, three book shelves and four computer tables valued at $14,525; coupled with 10 computers and accessories valued at $31,299.41 totaling $45,824.41. Funding was made through the Commonwealth Debt Initiative (CDI). Students of Belmopan Methodist High School will now have more efficient access to Information Technology due to the donation of the equipment.
  • Kidney Stone:
    A kidney stone, also known as a renal calculus or nephrolith, is a calculus formed in the kidneys from minerals in the urine. Kidney stones typically leave the body by passage in the urine stream, and many stones are formed and passed without causing symptoms. If stones grow to sufficient size (usually at least 3 millimeters (0.12 in)) they can cause blockage of the ureter. This leads to pain, most commonly beginning in the flank or lower back and often radiating to the groin or genitals. This pain is often known as renal colic and typically comes in waves lasting 20 to 60 minutes. Other associated symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, fever, blood in the urine, pus in the urine, and painful urination.
  • Mexico Supreme Court Frees Man After 23 Years In Jail:
    The Mexican Supreme Court has ordered the release of Alfonso Martin del Campo Dodd, a Mexican-American who was jailed in 1992 for the murder of his sister and brother-in-law. The court ruled that Mr Martin del Campo's confession had been extracted under torture and that there was no other evidence against him. Mr Martin del Campo said police had placed a plastic bag over his head to make him confess to the double murder. He is expected to be freed shortly. In a four-to-one ruling the judges said Mr Martin del Campo, who holds both US and Mexican citizenship, should be freed "in light of the proof that torture was used to obtain his confession in the two crimes, without there being any incriminatory evidence".
  • Ambassador Nestor Mendez Elected New Assistant Secretary General Of The Organization Of American States:
    The Office of the Prime Minister of Belize is pleased to announce that H.E. Nestor Mendez, Ambassador of Belize to the United States, Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States (OAS), and High Commissioner to Canada, was today elected for a five-year term as the new Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States. The post of Assistant Secretary General is the second highest office in the OAS, it is a highly competitive post to obtain, and holds senior responsibilities in that hemispheric organization. The Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs embarked on two years of active diplomacy and campaigning to achieve the support of the majority of countries in the Americas for this post. Ambassador Mendez contested the election against Ambassador Bayney Karran, Permanent Representative of Guyana to the OAS, and secured the election with 24 votes against 10 out of a total of thirty four Member States. This is the first time that a Belizean has been elected to such a senior office in the OAS.
  • Breastfeeding 'Linked To Higher IQ':
    A long-term study has pointed to a link between breastfeeding and intelligence. The research in Brazil traced nearly 3,500 babies, from all walks of life, and found those who had been breastfed for longer went on to score higher on IQ tests as adults. Experts say the results, while not conclusive, appear to back current advice that babies should be exclusively breastfed for six months. But they say mothers should still have a choice about whether or not to do it. Regarding the findings - published in The Lancet Global Health - they stress there are many different factors other than breastfeeding that could have an impact on intelligence, although the researchers did try to rule out the main confounders, such as mother's education, family income and birth weight.
  • Prince Charles Meets Barack Obama At The White House:
    The Prince of Wales has met US President Barack Obama at the White House during his visit to the country. Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall met Mr Obama and vice-president Joe Biden at the Oval Office. The president told the prince that the Royal Family was fondly regarded by the American people. The prince also visited an adult education school and took part in 10-pin bowling during this part of the four-day "goodwill" tour. Mr Obama and the prince last met four years ago when he flew to the US a few days after the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Mr Obama told the prince it was "fair to say that the American people are quite fond of the Royal Family". The prince replied: "That's awfully nice to know."
  • The World Pediatric Project:
    In collaboration with –The Ministry of Health, Friends of Pediatrics, and the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Is offering treatment for patients from birth to 21 years suffering from : NEPHROLOGY * Nephratic syndrome * Protein in urine * High blood pressure * Any other kidney problems SPINA BIFIDA * Spinal cord protrudes from the back as a lump or opening draining sac at birth UROLOGICAL CONDITIONS * Hernia / hydrocele – swelling in the groin or scrotum * Phimosis – penis foreskin balloons because of tightness of skin * Labia Adhesion – fused vaginal lips. Vaginal opening appears to be closed.
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