November 20, 2012


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The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Lion’s Club holds International Peace Poster Contest
The San Pedro Lion’s Club once again participated in the International Lion’s Club annual Peace Poster Contest, featuring the entries at the Lion’s Den on Friday, November 16th. This year a total of 63 posters from San Pedro Roman Catholic School, Isla Bonita Elementary School and New Horizon Adventist School were entered into the contest. The posters were judged based on originality, expression of theme and artistic merit with this year’s theme of “Imagine Peace”. The competition was opened to children ages 11 thru 13. Judges were: Paulette Galbraith of ACES School and Dr. Dianne Lawrence of Quicksilver/Go Phones/Yard Boyz. Originally, prizes were scheduled for first, second and third place. However, according to organizer Jan Brown, the judges had a difficult time narrowing down the creative entries down to a top ten. After much deliberation, they chose the top three places and were so touched by the artwork that they decided to put up their own money to award fourth and fifth places.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Grace and You Cooking Show - featured Garifuna dish - Bundiga
Grace and You Cooking Show on Channel 5's Open Your Eyes.

Sam Harris at Lucky 5
It's been a wild weekend in Cayo, and Saturday night was jam packed with live music and DJ's. Lucky 5 Sports Bar had Sam Harris jamming through the night. Meluchi's had their 2nd anniversary party. "Saturday night entertainment,rock and roll,with the boys."

The Children’s Park gets a well needed coat of paint!
Caye Caulker is thankful for the love from its residents and visitors alike and the Children’s Park is feeling that love today after it’s renovation and paintwork undertaken by the village yesterday! Visitors (and hopefully long-term visitors) Fernando, Aurora and their little son Hugo came to our little paradise some 2 months ago. They fell in love with the island but particularly the Children’s Park that is located next to Caye Reef and opposite Frenchie’s Dive Shop. The Park was created many years ago by Lionel Heredia (Chocolate) , Maria Vega and Ilna Auxillou who have tirelessly organized its repair and upkeep and we are grateful and thankful for their endeavors. However, Fernando and Aurora felt that they could assist in the renovations this year and have taken it upon their shoulders to muster up the assistants of the community for both the labor and for donations to get this project underway. Yesterday was the big day and it was heartwarming to see so many people get involved and pick up a paint brush or a hammer to make the park safe both safe and eye catching!! THANK YOU to all concerned!! It is community spirited projects like this that keep our island looking vibrant and colorful – plus a wonderfully safe place for children to play!!


Crooked Tree Residents Demonstrate Against Audubon Society
There was a demonstration in the Village of Crooked Tree this morning where the villagers were demanding that the Belize Audubon Society get out from their village. Crooked Tree Village is a unique village because it is also a wild life sanctuary where various animals such as jaguars and alligators coexist with the villagers. The Belize Audubon Society’s logo is “Creating a Balance between the people and the environment” but the villagers allege that the environmental organization is doing the opposite. Our news team travelled to the village this morning and filed the following report. Hipolito Novelo - Reporting The Belize Audubon Society became part of Crooked Tree Village in the 1970’s and later on, the village was dubbed as a wild life sanctuary. The scenic lagoon may portray a calm in the village, but as we found out today, it’s the total opposite. The villagers are upset with the Belize Audubon Society along with both the Fisheries and Forestry Departments. Steve Perriot, Vice Chairman Crooked Tree Village “The last few years Audubon has been apparently in charge of birds, fish and lumber, so they have been putting down a lot of rules to the villagers of Crooked Tree restricting the way we could make a living, Crooked Tree was founded on log wood cutting and a lot of us villagers make a living out of log wood cutting and so we requested several meeting with fisheries, Audubon and Forestry to discuss and to come to some workable a viable compromise.”

Former Orange Walk Mayor Admits Payment To Imer Hernandez
In last night’s newscast we brought to you the story of the Orange Walk Town Council’s neighborhood meeting held on San Antonio Road. Residents of the area brought up several concerns with two being the most predominant; the road condition of San Antonio Road and the noise and fumes of a block factory located on Smithsonian Road. The issue of the rehabilitation of San Antonio Road was the one that raised the most concern by both the Town Council and the neighborhood residents. The Orange Walk Town Council presented residents with copies of listed work and voucher for payment to a contractor company owned by the nephew of the Deputy Prime Minister, Imer Hernandez. In the voucher paid out to Imer Hernandez, the previous administration paid him $50,000 for work to be commenced for the rehabilitation of San Antonio Road. The total value of the work to be done stood at $351,000 of which $50,000 was the first payment. During Wednesday’s meeting, many residents openly voiced their discontent with the payment of the $50,000 to Hernandez and yet no work has commenced on the street. In last night’s meeting, former Mayor of Orange Walk Town Phillip de la Fuente confirmed to the present Council that indeed payment was made to Imer Hernandez and that the Council should demand it back. Phillip de la Fuete – Fomer Mayor of OWTC, 2009-2012 “The previous administration had paid $50,000.00 towards the paving of the San Antonio Road to Yo Creek Road but if those buy aren’t doing anything about it maybe they could give back to the town council so some work could get done.” Mayor Kevin Bernard assured those in attendance and the former Mayor that the Orange Walk Town Council will do everything in their power to get the $50,000 back.

Security Guard Faces Charges Of Theft
Tonight, a security guard from Corozal Town is facing charges of theft. Yesterday morning, Corozal Police woke up a bus driver sometime around 5:50 in the morning at his apartment. The bus driver parked his assigned Tillett’s Bus on 5th Street South the evening before and went up to his apartment to sleep. Corozal Police informed him that over the night, they detained a man who had in his possession a spare tire of a bus. When investigated, the evidence trail led the police back to the Tillett’s Bus and the driver. When the driver conducted further checks to his bus, he noticed the lock on the diesel tank had been damaged. When investigating the diesel tank, the driver discovered seventeen gallons of diesel were missing from the bus valued at $300. The spare tire stolen from the bus was valued at $450. Quick police work led them to the recovery of the seventeen gallons of diesel placed in two separate containers and the spare tire. As a result, police have arrested and charged a security guard of Corozal Town for the crime.

The Reporter

PM to “bonkers” John McAfee: Surrender yourself to police!
Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, speaking to reporters on Wednesday, November 14, described anti-virus software pioneer, John McAfee, as “bonkers,” and urged him to surrender himself to the police. McAfee, 67, who is wanted for questioning as “a person of interest” by San Pedro Police in connection with the murder of his neighbour Gregory Viant Faull, has been on the run since Sunday. The story, however, has garnered a lot of international media attention, and McAfee, who is in hiding somewhere in Belize and has maintained his innocence, has been speaking exaggeratedly to U.S. Journalists. In one of his several interviews with Wired magazine’s contributing editor Joshua Davis, he said that he fears for his life if the police get their hands on him. In an essay that he e-mailed to Davis on Wednesday, November 14, McAfee writes: “I have modified my appearance in a radical fashion, I’ll probably look like a murderer, unfortunately.” He also explained to Wired magazine how on Sunday, he buried himself in the sand to avoid the police, when they arrived at his house. He said he was able to breathe through a cardboard box, with which he had covered his head.

Public Accounts and all Standing Committees are public!
A technical gaffe may have caused Monday’s botched Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting, but that does not change the reality that meetings of all Standing Committees are “always public,” Mr. Gian Ghandi, legal advisor to the Minister of Finance, confirmed Wednesday this week. Ghandi corroborated the government’s position that at PAC’s inaugural meeting on Monday, October 1, 2012, the matter of opening the committee meetings to the public was merely discussed. “No decision was taken then,” he said. That decision, Ghandi explained, was to be made at Monday’s meeting under the “Establishment of Meeting Procedures” agenda item, which PAC Chairman and People’s United Party (PUP) Cayo South area representative, Julius Espat, listed under “New Business.” Ghandi made reference to May’s Parliamentary Practice— an authoritative parliamentary book that serves as a guide to countries that employ the United Kingdom (UK)’s Westminster System. Mays Parliamentary Practice states that “All Standing Committee meetings are public all the time.” Also called the “Parliamentary Bible”, the book, written by British Constitutional theorist and former Clerk of the House of Commons, Thomas Erskine May, it is often used to settle parliamentary disputes even in Belize, which operates on the principles of Parliamentary Democracy based on the Westminster System. Mr. Ghandi explained that the text reflects the in-practice traditions of the House, and that the hotly debated Standing Order 72 (3), which says, “Members of the public shall be allowed sufficient opportunity to present their views at the meetings of all Standing Committees” is to be interpreted in accordance with May’s work.

BWSL & CitCo reconcile garbage payments
The Belize City Council has reconciled the hiccup in payments for garbage collection, which prompted some 40 workers of Belize Waste Control Limited (BWCL) to picket the Council’s offices on Monday, November 12. Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley made a commitment to BWCL General Manager George Lamb on Wednesday, and before the end of the day BWCL’s garbage collection trucks were back on the street, collecting residential garbage, which had accumulated on the streets of Southside Belize City since the protest began on Monday. The City Council (CITCO) responded to BWCL’s halt in garbage collection by putting its own clean-up crews out on the street, and had picked up 80% of the garbage on the city’s north side by day’s end Monday. The clean-up crews worked on the city’s south side on Tuesday; but since the south side is a larger area; therefore, the work continued on Wednesday. November is a relatively slow season for the City Council as tax revenue slows to a trickle during November each year, and the sanitation companies are aware of this, Bradley told The Reporter. He said for this reason, the CITCO had come to an arrangement with the companies that if they fell behind in any payments during the month, they would double up on payments to make up for accumulated arrears, in December, January and February, when the revenues for renewal of trade licenses and property taxes start pouring in.

Patrick Faber to take on Gaspar Vega for UDP 1st Deputy leader
United Democratic Party (UDP) Chairman Patrick Faber, the Collet Division’s area representative and the Minister of Education, has confirmed to The Reporter that it is highly likely he may challenge the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega for the post of First Deputy Party Leader. The challenge is expected to come at the UDP’s next general convention, scheduled for sometime in February next year. Faber said he was still discerning his supporters, but he is leaning in that direction. Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow discussed it briefly Wednesday, when the media asked him to speak on Faber’s ambitions, during an interview outside the RSV Media Center. Prime Minister Barrow said that there is “certainly a suggestion … that there will be a challenge.” He added, “If there is, that is democracy; that is the way we in the UDP do it. While we know that any contested convention will have its fallout, I believe that our history, track record, and our culture are all such that we can deal with that sort of thing.”

C. A. L eaders concerned about drug states
A group of Latin American leaders declared Monday that votes by two U.S. states to legalize marijuana have important implications for efforts to quash drug smuggling, offering the first government reaction from a region increasingly frustrated with the U.S.-backed war on drugs. The declaration by the leaders of Mexico, Belize, Honduras and Costa Rica did not explicitly say they were considering weakening their governments’ efforts against marijuana smuggling, but it strongly implied the votes last week in Colorado and Washington would make enforcement of marijuana bans more difficult. The four called for the Organization of American States to study the impact of the Colorado and Washington votes and said the United Nations’ General Assembly should hold a special session on the prohibition of drugs by 2015 at the latest. Last week, the most influential adviser to Mexico’s president-elect, who takes office Dec. 1, questioned how the country will enforce a ban on growing and smuggling a drug that is now legal under some U.S. state laws. The Obama administration has yet to make clear how strongly it will enforce a federal ban on marijuana that is not affected by the Colorado and Washington votes. “It has become necessary to analyze in depth the implications for public policy and health in our nations emerging from the state and local moves to allow the legal production, consumption and distribution of marijuana in some countries of our continent,” Mexican President Felipe Calderon said after a meeting with Honduran President Porfirio Lobo, Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla and Prime Minister Dean Barrow of Belize. Marijuana legalization by U.S. states is “a paradigm change on the part of those entities in respect to the current international system,” Calderon said.

BP to pay record fine for Gulf oil spill
BP will pay a record U.S. fine to settle criminal claims arising from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a Department of Justice official said Thursday. Details of the BP settlement would be revealed later Thursday when Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to join federal and local officials in New Orleans for an announcement. The largest U.S. criminal fine was a $1.3 billion payment by drugmaker Pfizer (PFE, Fortune 500) in 2009, part of a $2.3 billion settlement in a case involving the misbranding of Bextra, an anti-inflammatory arthritis drug. The London-based oil company said earlier that negotiations with the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission were “advanced.” The company had no further comment. Any settlement would be subject to federal judicial review, and would not absolve the company of civil claims. In addition, BP (BP) still faces a potential fine from the U.S. federal government tied to environmental damages in the Gulf. The fine comes on top of $20 billion the company has agreed to pay into a trust fund to meet damage claims from the spill. It said it expects to pay a final $860 million into that fund this quarter. BP reported a $17.2 billion loss in the quarter when the explosion took place. But it has been profitable since then, booking total profits of $43 billion over the course of those nine quarters. The Gulf oil spill, with millions of barrels of oil to contaminate the Gulf of Mexico was one of the worst oil spills in history.

Playing god? Woman has to fight just to start business
In the last Ripple Effect, we reviewed the World Bank’s evaluation of a 185 nations in its “Doing Business” report. Belize received an overall rank of 105 on the list, but when judged according to the ten specific variables, Belize’s rank for ease of starting a business was 158. It reported that it would take a local entrepreneur 44 days to complete the 9-step process to start a business, at a cost of 51.9 percent of our Gross National Income (GNI) per capita, which the World Bank placed at US$3,691. Again, please note that GNI is the Gross Domestic Product plus the net receipts from wages, salaries and properties income from residents who work temporarily or seasonally abroad or from migrant workers who are in Belize for a year or more. GNI per capita, which reflects the average income of the country’s citizens, is derived by dividing the GNI by Belize’s population. Jamaica, for example, which has an overall rank of 90, has a six-step process that the report showed can be completed in 7 days, at a cost of 6.7 percent of their GNI per capita. Barbados, ranked 88th overall, has an 8-step process that takes 18 days to complete, at a cost of 7.2 percent. In countries like Slovenia, starting a business is absolutely free; there’s only a two-step process that can be completed in a week. In New Zealand, however, businesses can get started in one day, by using the one-step online process, at a cost of 0.4 percent of GNI per capita. The World Bank’s report states: “Many [countries] have undertaken business registration reforms … Among benefits have been greater firm satisfaction and savings and more registered businesses, financial resources and job opportunities.” Universal Transportation

Belizean food spices up L.A.
A “Little Belize” in the south of L.A. has made it’s mark with different ethnic cooking from Belize. Three restaurants that stands out are Ella’s Belizean Restaurant, Joan and Sisters and Mar’s Caribbean Gardens. The food served are of the Belizean Kriol and Maya culture. Dishes such as rice and beans is served everyday, but appetizers such as panades, and fried tortilla are all culinary treats that can be found on the tables of south L.A. Boil up consisting of pig tail, fish, hard- boiled eggs, yams, plantains, boil cakes from flour sweet potato, yucca and taro (Cocao from Belize) covered in a stew of tomatoes, onions and peppers is among one of the kriol dishes served. Ella’s, owned by Carla Dawson, is a Belizean fast food place hidden in south L.A. that attracts mostly Belizean clients. Named after Dawson’s daughter, the restaurant opened its doors in 2011. Speaking about the motivation for starting the company, Dawson’s sister, Stacy, said, “cooking is in their DNA, everyone in their family cooks.” Mar’s Caribbean Gardens is the desired Belizean restaurant in the L.A. area; it has a full liquor licence, serving smoky, spicy chimole. Owner Marie Jimenez and the manager Fred Dixson have created a place where Belizeans can bring business and clients and can feel proud. Joan and Sisters is owned by Elenor and Samuel Bevans. The Belizean restaurant has been opened for 30 years.

Carlene Martinez wins Miss Garifuna Belize
Miss Hopkins Carlene Martinez won the annual Miss Garifuna Belize Pageant held under the auspices of the National Garifuna Council at the Bliss Institute for the Performing Arts in Belize City on Saturday, November 3. Carlene impressed the judges with her erudition in the Garifuna language and her knowledge of Garinagu history and culture to capture the title, also winning as her prize a laptop computer, a beach cruiser bicycle and a bouquet of flowers. Outgoing Garifuna Settlement Day Queen Miss Elisa Magdaleno sashed and crowned Carlene with her tiara, after the judges’ decision was announced. Miss Seine Bight, Avery Thomas entertained the audience with her soliloquy and scored enough points with the judges to win second place, taking home as her prize a color television set and a home theatre set. Miss Dangriga, Valerie Castillo, also impressed the judges sufficiently to win third prize, a Hewlett Packard Net book computer. Three other contestants vied for the title: Miss Belize City Gwendolyn Roches, Miss Georgetown Dickeve Ramirez and Miss Peini of Punta Gorda, Marian Marin. Carlene Martinez will be crowned at the annual Garifuna Settlement Day ceremonies at BTL Park after a re-enactment of the landing at the Court House Wharf and subsequent procession to the St Martin DePorres Roman Catholic Church for a concelebrated Mass of Thanksgiving. The theme for this year’s celebrations is “Wawansera memeba lau lubafu bungiu hama ahari” (We keep going forward with the power of God and our ancestors). The pageant began with Roslyn Enriquez singing the National Anthem in Garifuna, and the President of the Belize City Chapter of the National Garifuna Council, Matthew Martinez leading the congregation in a welcome prayer. Mistress of Ceremonies Gwen Nuñez introduced the candidates, and the outgoing queen, Elisa Magdaleno bid her audience farewell after which the candidates performed the Gunjai and Chumba dances Punta Rock artists Chico Ramos, Mohobub Flores and Peter “Titiman” Flores serenaded the contestants. Gwen Nunez then introduced the six candidates as each gave her main presentation in Garifuna for the judges.

Stolen skiff recovered
Police have charged Napoleon Vicente, a Belizean boat captain; Holis White, 36, a Belizean mechanic, and Andy Codd, 27, with theft and handling stolen goods, after they allegedly stole a boat from Mr. Russell Gongora sometime between Saturday and Sunday, November 3-4. Gongora told police that his maroon 23-foot fibreglass skiff, valued at $40,000, was stolen from behind his mother’s house at #475 Cedar Street, Belama Phase II, Belize City. He searched and found the skiff moored behind River Bottom Bar on Regent Street West, but it was missing several items. Police have recovered the 200hp Yamaha outboard engine and a 2-stroke engine, both valued at $10,000. They are still searching for several other items including a $800 black compass; a white Sony radio – valued at $1,000; 10 orange life vests worth $550; a black RYO battery, and a green canvas canopy worth $2,000.

Alzheimer’s detected decades before symptoms
Researchers have found some of the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s disease, more than two decades before the first symptoms usually appear. Treating the disease early is thought to be vital to prevent damage to memory and thinking. A study, published in the Lancet Neurology, found differences in the brains of an extended Colombian family predisposed to develop an early form of Alzheimer’s. Experts said the US study may give doctors more time to treat people. Alzheimer’s disease starts long before anyone would notice; previous studies have shown an effect on the brain 10-15 years before symptoms. It is only after enough brain cells have died that the signs of dementia begin to appear. -Some regions of the brain will have lost up to 20% of their brain cells before the disease becomes noticeable. However, doctors fear so much of the brain will have degenerated by this time that it will be too late to treat patients. The failure of recent trials to prevent further cognitive decline in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease has been partly put down to timing. A team at the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Arizona looked at a group of patients in Colombia who have familial Alzheimer’s. A genetic mutation means they nearly always get the disease in their 40s. Alzheimer’s normally becomes apparent after the age of 75. Brain scans of 20 people with the mutation, aged between 18 and 26, already showed differences compared with those from 24 people who were not destined to develop early Alzheimer’s. The fluid which bathes the brain and spinal cord also had higher levels of a protein called beta-amyloid. The researchers said differences could be detected “more than two decades before” symptoms would appear in these high-risk patients.

Cell phone messages may help smokers quit
Text and video messages designed to help people quit smoking nearly doubled the success rate for attempted quitters, compared to people who didn’t have such assistance, in a new review of several studies. Researchers found nine percent of would-be quitters made it without cigarettes for at least six months when reminded and encouraged through cell phone messages, compared to five percent who went it alone. “We can’t say all text messaging interventions are going to work. It depends on how they were developed, but it certainly shows there’s reason to believe that mobile phone-based interventions are a good option to think about adding to your portfolio of smoking cessation services,” said Robyn Whittaker, the lead author of the review from the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Cell phone programs included in the review involved a text or video sent to smokers each day for several weeks, preparing them for their designated quit day with motivation and advice. Once the quit day arrived, participants often received multiple messages a day for weeks, offering encouragement, tips on getting through cravings and additional resources to get back on the horse after a relapse. In an earlier review of the research several years ago, Whittaker and her colleagues found such interventions were helpful in the first few weeks of quitting, but there wasn’t enough evidence to say whether they had any impact beyond that. In their latest analysis, published in The Cochrane Library, the group was able to include three more studies – for a total of five – comparing cell phone messaging to no extra help. Whittaker and other review authors were involved in most of these original studies.

Toledo Community College boys win national volleyball championship
The undefeated boys of Toledo Community College repeated as National High Schools Volleyball Champions for the fifth consecutive year, dominating the tournament organized by the National Secondary Schools Sports Association and hosted by the Belmopan Baptist High School at the University of Belize Jaguar Auditorium on Friday and Saturday, November 9-10. The Toledo Community College boys dominated the Central Regional Champions, the hitherto undefeated boys of St John’s College, in the finals on Saturday. Perry Diaz, Raymond Gillett, Andrew Vasquez, and Zachary Garbutt led the St John’s attacks on plays set by team captain Harold Nava and Raheem Flowers as they led 12-10 in the first set. The SJC boys opened up a 18-12 lead, but Trevor Muschamp, Kylon Martinez, Anfernee Archer and Robin Nightingale led a fierce TCC counterattack, hammering kills at the net on plays set by libero Julio Requeña and Alwyn Mahung as they closed the gap to tie the score 18-18, and went on to win the first set 25-23. SJC’s libero Dimitri Fabro rotated into the game when they lost the serve, while James Bregal relieved Nightingale but the TCC boys dominated the second set 25-16. The SJC boys tried for a comeback in the third set, but the TCC boys won 25-18. The TCC boys also prevailed over the western regional champions, the boys of Mopan Technical High School, in three sets on Friday night. Again Muschamp, Martinez, Archer and Nightingale led the TCC offensive hammering kills on plays set by Bregal and Mahung, while Voshaun Csatillo relieved Robin to win the first set 25-16.

St Catherine’s Academy girls win National Volleyball Championship
The girls of St Catherine’s Academy came through undefeated to repeat as National High Schools Volleyball Champions for the fifth consecutive year, dominating the competition organized by the National Secondary Schools Sports Association and hosted by the Belmopan Baptist High School at the University of Belize Jaguar auditorium Friday and Saturday, November 9-10. The SCA girls made short work of the southern regional champions, hitherto undefeated girls of Ecumenical High School in the finals. MVP hitter Sherika Burton, Leandra Betson, Emily Evans and Karina Bernard led the SCA offensive scoring hits at the net on balls set by Xiomara Quan and Krystal Bevans. Libero Hanna Diskin rotated into the game whenever SCA lost the serve, which was not too often. Even their setter Krystal Bevans got in four hits at the net, as the SCA girls dominated the first set 25-9. Ecumenical’s Annyssa Sanchez and Carrie Bowman got in some hits at the net while Skylyn Bradley, Samira Coleman, Avery Sanchez and Opal Pineda helped rally the ball and did win points when SCA’s serves went out of bounds or into the net. Nayala Tun replaced Karina Bernard who in turn relieved Sherika, while Emily Evans replaced Betson, and Alexandra Smith took the court as SCA won the second set 25-13. Karen Quan and Gianna Brown took the court in the third set, which SCA dominated 25-10 to clinch the championship. The SCA girls also dominated the northern regional champions, the girls of Muffles College in three sets in the opening game of the tournament last Friday afternoon. Nayala Tun, Karina Bernard, Alexandra Smith and Gianna Brown led the SCA’s attack, hammering kills on plays set by Krystal Bevans and Xiomara Quan. Karen Quan relieved Xiomara as they took the first set 25-11.

International Sources

People Who Live in the Tropics More Likely to Die Seven Years Earlier
People living in the tropics are likely to die more than seven years younger than those in other regions, according to the first findings of a new global research project. The "State of the Tropics" study, run by 13 institutions across 12 countries, reported that people living in the world's tropical zones in 2010 had an average life expectancy of 64.4 years. This was 7.7 years less than those living in non-tropical areas, according to the broad-ranging research project, which was initiated by Australia's James Cook University (JCU). Overall mortality in the region was affected by disease, conflict, poverty and food insecurity, the study said. Investment in social services, such as health and education, as well as access to water, sanitation and medical technology, were also important factors. According to the report, Central and Southern Africa had the worst adult mortality rates, with 377 in every 1,000 people who live to 15 years old dying before they reach 60. That compares with an average of 240 in every 1,000 across the tropics and 154 in every 1,000 for the rest of the world. The study estimates that all continents except Europe and Antarctica are partly in the tropics and 144 nations or territories are either "fully or partly in the tropical region". The report found that life expectancy in the tropics has increased in the past 60 years, with people living 22.8 years longer than in 1950. Infant mortality in the tropics also decreased from 161 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1950 to 58 per 1,000 in 2010, though this is still much higher than the 33 per 1,000 rate in the rest of the world.

Please find herewith a press release regarding a new EU-funded project that has just started in the Caribbean. The Caribbean Fisheries Mechanism Secretariat is about to receive the visit of a project team in order to develop its Communication Strategy and website. The project will benefit to the Caribbean Fisheries Sector in all CARICOM countries and to the Caribbean population. The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), in collaboration with the ACP Fish II Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU) / ACP Fish II Programme, will be starting a new project Tuesday 20th November 2012 in the CRFM Secretariat office in Belize City, Belize. A first meeting will be held on Tuesday 20th November 2012 in the CRFM Belize office. The project's team will then visit fisheries administrations in Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in order to gather information to update the Communication Strategy for the CRFM and update the CRFM website. The purpose of this project is to strengthen the capacity of CRFM and fisheries administrations of CARIFORUM States in fisheries information and knowledge sharing. It will provide focused support to the CRFM Secretariat and Member States to agree on document goals and targets for the IT component of its Communication Strategy and deliver technical assistance to upgrade and maintain a website whilst providing training to fisheries officers in an effort to maximise the use of the new found facility and tools. Thus, CRFM will contribute to the achievement of the management goals stated in the recently adopted Agreement establishing a Common Fisheries Policy. It will ensure a better fisheries management in the Caribbean Region.

McAfee defends himself in runaway blog post
Murder suspect and alleged fugitive John McAfee has taken time out from his busy run from the police to set up a blog. The security software pioneer who is hiding from Belize police after a man he had a row with, Gregory Faull, ended up with a bullet in his head, has offered a $25k reward for capture of the real killer. Dubbed "The Hinterland, the official blog of John McAfee" the blog appeared has McAfee writing off a couple of reporters from Gizmodo and Wired who he claims appear to be out to get him. One, he claims, is seeking revenge over incriminating photos McAfee believes the reporter thinks McAfee sent to the writer's wife. Wired on the other hand was more interested in showing him as a gun toting lunatic. McAfee wrote that he is on run with a 20-year-old female named Sam. He said that a handful of friends and associates have been rounded up by police over the past week or so. The posts are full of stories such as him returning to his home in disguise to find police digging up his dead dogs and cutting off their heads. Another post urges readers to look closely at Belize's prime minister's Gang Suppression Unit that McAfee says has been used to go after the prime minister's critics and enemies. McAfee says the government was wrongfully going after him for illegal drug production and possession of firearms. He said that he had pre-written enough material to keep his blog alive for at least a year.

Bizarre McAfee ‘on the run’ blog taken offline
Anti-virus firm founder John McAfee, who has been evading police on the island of Belize for the past week, has set up a blog so followers can keep abreast of his adventures, - although at the time of writing it appears to have been taken offline. In it McAfee claims to have enough material to keep going for ‘at least a year’ whilst also keeping the media abreast of his progress, notably through a stint on CNBC. McAfee is wanted for questioning over the murder of his neighbour, Gregory Faull, who was shot dead on 11 November but rather than face justice he has apparently taken to the jungle through a number of disguises, claiming police harassment. The bizarre blog makes a number of wild claims, amongst them that McAfee returned to his San Pedro residence during a police search of his property, donning a peasant hawker disguise and pretending to be a drunk German tourist. In the post, dated, 19 November McAfee goes into some detail about his disguise, writing: "I stuffed a shaved down tampon deep into my right nostril and died the tip dark brown – giving my nose an awkward, lopsided, disgusting appearance. Describing his experience as a drunk German tourist in swimming trunks, oversized Hawaiian shirt and a bandaged face, "yelling loudly at anyone who would listen, 'Leck mich um ausch!'", McAfee wrote: "At 67 years of age it was quite a spectacle." Belize prime minister Dean Barrow has said he believes McAfee to be ‘bonkers’.

Calling BS on McAfee's 'pre-written' blog posts
The rest of the hard-to-believe story might turn out to be true, but … Previous Article Calling BS on McAfee's 'pre-written' blog posts The rest of the hard-to-believe story might turn out to be true, but … There is so much about the John McAfee soap opera that is unbelievable that it might seem pointless to highlight a single slice of malarkey, yet allow me to flag what I consider to be the fishiest tidbit in a tale that just reeks of low tide. Here's a blog post, allegedly written by McAfee, about what is purported to be his new blog chronicling his run from the authorities in Belize; it's headlined "If I am captured:" If I am captured, this blog will continue. I have pre-written enough material to keep this blog alive for at least a year. In addition, the administrator, Chad, will continue to monitor comments. He will administer the reward and post any information received. In truth my continued involvement from this point is irrelevant. In the event that I am captured, please continue to support this cause. It is a just cause and it needs International attention. The "just cause" McAfee apparently alludes to is protecting his sorry hide from what he claims are corrupt and, he says, potentially murderous Belizean law enforcement agents looking to question - he says torture -- him about the murder of his neighbor. However, there is another cause self-evident here and it involves Chad Essley, administrator of McAfee's new blog, which is called "The Hinterlands."

Fugitive tycoon John McAfee says he 'dressed like a tramp' to outfox police
Fugitive tycoon John McAfee has told how he dressed like a tramp to outfox police. In a series of blogs, McAfee said his disguise was so convincing officers ordered him off his own property. ‘I stuffed a shaved-down tampon deep into my right nostril – giving my nose an awkward, disgusting appearance,’ said the 67-year-old – wanted for questioning in Belize over the murder of his neighbour. Another role he said he adopted was that of a ‘drunk German tourist’. British-born McAfee, who made millions from antivirus software, denies any involvement in the murder of Gregory Faull, 52. The US businessman was found shot dead in San Pedro on November 11. Mr McAfee claims to be conducting his own murder investigation while he is on the run from police. Belize prime minister Dean Barrow has described Mr McAfee as ‘bonkers’.. Read more:

New World reaches final depth
Belize and Denmark-focused New World Oil & Gas (LON:NEW) has reached the final depth at its B Crest prospect. The Blue Creek project is New World's flagship asset in Belize and plays host to the B Crest prospect. Growth Company Investor last reported that the well had drilled to a depth of 4,509 feet and was planning to soon hit the planned target depth of 7,000 feet with the source expected to lie at 5,700 feet. However, the company took the decision at the beginning of November to extend the target depth of the well to 10,450 feet due to the project currently being under budget. Today, the company has revealed a depth of 10,490 feet has been reached and that oil and gas shows have been present in mud logs recorded so far. However, before making any statements regarding the resource, New World has warned tha the next stage will be to run electric wireline logs in the well to further determine its characteristics. It says only then will the company decide at what depth intervals to carry out further analysis to 'determine the way forward'. Further analysis is also still subject to the results collated from the open hole wireline logs. New World chief executive William Kelleher defiantly confirmed 'the B Crest prospect is located in a working hydrocarbon system' although he additionally warned that 'there is still more work to be done.' The share price rebounded 6.3 per cent this morning to 9.8p, valuing the company at £35 million.

New World boosted by Belize results
Oil and gas were both in evidence as New World Oil and Gas (NEW) reached its target depth of 10,490 feet at the Blue Creek 2 well, located on the Blue Creek Exploration Production Sharing Agreement in north-west Belize. Shares in the firm were given a boost by the news and were trading up 5.9% on Tuesday. The oil and gas exploration company said shows were present in mud logs recorded throughout the upper and middle Cretaceous intervals, including the Y1, Y2 and Y3 intervals of the Yalbac formation and the Hillbank formation. The well is part of a three-well drilling programme at Blue Creek. An independent report compiled by RPS Energy assigned an unrisked proven and probable resource of 92 million barrels of oil to B Crest horizon. The next stage, which is currently underway, is to run electric wireline logs in the well which will, among other things, measure certain rock formation characteristics and enable the company to calculate fluid saturation levels, porosity, and determine rock thicknesses. Depending on the results of this exercise, New World will then decide at what depth intervals to carry out further evaluation which will assess the way forward. Chief executive William Kelleher said, "We have confirmed that the B Crest prospect is located in a working hydrocarbon system. Encountering oil shows at all targeted intervals is encouraging but there is still more work to be done. "Reviewing the results of the open-hole wireline logs is the next course of action. I look forward to providing further updates to shareholders as and when we have further information." Investor reaction There was a positive reaction from some users on the Interactive Investor discussion boards, but others warned against over-enthusiasm, pressing the point that this was not a confirmed commercial discovery. User 'I_Smell_Oil' commented: "I think it's a little too soon to be saying this well isn't a duster.

Can McAfee Secure Its Brand From Damage by Namesake Founder?
McAfee seems to be doing his best impression of the Man with 1,000 Faces, Lon Chaney, while he's on the lam: “The first day I colored my full beard and my hair light grey — almost white,” he wrote. “I darkened the skin of my face, neck and hands carefully with shoe polish and put on an LA Saints baseball cap with the brim facing backwards and tufts of the front of my hair sticking out unkempt through the band. I stuffed my cheeks with chewed bubble gum stuck to the outside of my upper and lower molars – making my face appear much fatter. I darkened and browned my front teeth. I stuffed a shaved down tampon deep into my right nostril and died the tip dark brown – giving my nose an awkward, lopsided, disgusting appearance.” The "Boy's Own Adventure" that is the life of McAfee these days is taking on a Hollywood twist as he pushes his acting skills and Matt Damon, no doubt, is looking to option the script. The serape-wearing McAfee spent that day drifting up and down the beach near his home with a “pronounced limp” while selling “Guatemalan woven goods,” “pushing an old single speed bicycle,” and speaking “broken English with a heavy Spanish accent.” What better way to keep an eye on the actions of journalists and the police? Another day he sold tamales and burritos. On another, he pretended to be “a drunk German tourist with a partially bandaged face and wearing Speedo swimming trunks and a distasteful, oversized Hawaiian shirt and yelling loudly at anyone who would listen – ‘Leck mich um ausch!’” If the public's cringing, so is McAfee's namesake brand, which is steadfastly ignoring the whole affair. So far, McAfee’s getups seem to be working, though, but it surely isn’t bringing pleasure to his old company, which now has to have its name tied up in an international murder case. They also surely weren’t excited to see McAfee’s post that even if he is caught, he’s prewritten a year’s worth of material for the blog that will appear — as long as Chad keeps up his end of the bargain and keeps posting.