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Today's Belize News: August 4, 2013 #469545
08/04/13 05:59 AM
08/04/13 05:59 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 80,387
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP


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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
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The San Pedro Sun

NAC Stigma and Discrimination Training
National AIDS Commission Island Committee – July 30, 2013 – From 27 July 2013 to 28 July 2013 the National AIDS Commission (NAC) Island Committee participated in a workshop/training aimed at learning how to identify stigma and discrimination and how to battle it. Members of the NAC Island Committee participated alongside members of the newly formed Caye Caulker Health Committee- now inducted into the Island Committee. Through the facilitation of Nurse Lourdes Heredia from Corozal Community Hospital and the NAC Corozal Committee the training was made possible with the support of USAID Central America Capacity Project and IntraHealth International. The training/workshop was held at the Sunbreeze Hotel conference room. The workshop/training certified that participants in attendance have the education, training and resources necessary to tackle stigma and discrimination specifically aimed towards individuals living with HIV/AIDS and their friends and families

New Business in Town: Flowers, Salazar and Associates
On Wednesday July 31st, Pescador Drive had yet another addition to its robust chain of businesses as Flowers, Salazar and Associates celebrated its official business inauguration/ business blessing. The new firm, which is located at the Reef Radio Building, will be offering a line of services geared towards facilitating international investors. Services such as aid in legal documentations, citizenship, land transfers and financial advising, plus a host of other services will be available to both local and international people looking to invest in Belize. The partners of the business are Joy Flowers, Marisa Salazar, Frank Panton and ½ partner Winston Panton. Flowers Salazar and Associates is open for business from 8AM-5PM Mon-Fri.

DJ Zog rocks the second night of the Costa Maya International Festival
The long anticipated Costa Maya International Festival commenced on Thursday, August 1st with the Miss Costa Maya Pageant. Belize’s Destinee Arnold brought the crown back home, and set the pace for the second night, in which DJ Zog brought the party to Costa Maya! Once the formalities were over, the party truly started. The island party night began with the traditional flag dance. After the traditional flag dance by the Ballet Folklorico de Quintana Roo, the dancers presented typical cultural dances for all the Central American countries. Each dance was unique to its region such as the Cumbia is to Panama and Punta is to Belize. The dances came alive as the dancers gracefully moved around the stage in elaborate and colorful costumes. The comedic show of Yan Somosa from El Salvador continued. Yan had the entire crowd laughing with his hilarious imitation and his funny antics. Yan’s presentation of PSY’s Gangnam Style” had the crowd laughing hysterically. Up next came the energetic and upbeat Grupo Crash from El Salvador. Their mix of cultural and modern dances had the crowd tapping its toes; they were certainly a show stopper. Each dance presentation contained risky acrobatic tricks that the dancers delivered flawlessly. The crowd’s applause for the dance group was long and loud. Following their act was the Guatemalan Paradise Reggae Band. Their cool melodious vibes had the crowd moving to the Caribbean rhythm, and under the starry night sky, it was a great day to be on a Caribbean island enjoying groovy music.

Los Yonics gets a warm welcome from islanders of Ambergris Caye
The Tropic Air Terminal in San Pedro Town was packed by islanders who came out to welcome the well-known Mexican band, Los Yonics. The band, which has over 37 years of musical success in Mexico and Latin American countries will be for the first time in Belize performing at the International Costa Maya Festival. The group arrived shortly after midday on board a Tropic Air flight from Corozal Town. “Beinvenidos a la Isla de San Pedro (Welcome to the island of San Pedro),” shouted their many fans, who had come out to welcome the musical group. Speaking at a press conference shortly after touching down on Ambergris Caye soil, the band members shared their enthusiasm for being in Belize. “First of all I want to say thank for the very warm welcome. I am extremely happy to be on Belizean soil for the first time in my musical career. The entire group is happy to be in this beautiful place. We come with all the energy in the world, to be able to perform as much songs as possible,” said lead vocalist Jose Manuel Zamacona.

Misc Belizean Sources

Canine Distemper Virus outbreak in San Mateo
Saga Humane Society would like help in alerting the community of a Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) outbreak in San Mateo. 22 cases of distemper have already been seen at the Saga HS clinic. To prevent the spread of this highly contagious disease Saga HS will be doing a Mobile Clinic Tuesday August 6 to the affected neighborhood and will be vaccinating the area dogs. Vaccines will be at no charge to low income residents or $10 for those who can afford to pay. Saga HS seeks to raise $1000 to buy the vaccinations. This will buy enough vaccinations for 100 animals. Saga HS will keep the public updated on this situation. Please help us spread the word about the outbreak and Mobile Clinic.

Belize: Embracing Change in Education
Recently, I referred to the United States of America’s report, “A Nation at Risk”, published over 30 years ago by that country’s Education Department to urge an overhaul of how and what their young people were being taught in schools. In June of this year, Belize’s Education Department released a Report of the 2013 PSE Results of Proficiency Examinations for Primary School students. The Results showed Primary school students in Belize lagging far behind where they should be in Education, especially in areas of Reading (English) and Math. Both Reports were “wake-up calls” for each country. In my previous Blog for July of this year I further encourage Education policymakers in Belize to examine non-British and non-Caribbean models of 21st Century successful schools and successful students, for example, Finland.

SPLASH Whale Shark Promo Video 8 minutes

How to Cross the Guatemala – Belize Border. Plus, Meeting the Keystone Cops
That time every digital nomad at first loves, because it feels exciting and new… until later it becomes one more inconvenience in a long list of gripes. It was… Tourist visa renewal time! In Guatemala, you can renew your visa at the 90-day mark without leaving the country. After your visa is renewed, you can take your passport to SAT’s Custom’s office and extend your vehicle’s permit as well. At six months, or 180-days, one HAS TO leave the country. Rule also applies to whatever foreign vehicle you’ve brought with you, because its Temporary Import stamp has to match your passport. My options for renewal were a) Costa Rica, b) Mexico, and c) Belize. Option a, Mexico, was a no-go because that meant importing my car again. This requires a hefty credit card deposit (refundable), and purchase of insurance. Plus I’d already been to Mexico. Option b, Costa Rica, requires crossing at least 2 countries, Honduras and Nicaragua. Add El Salvador to the list if you feel you haven’t filed enough government paperwork in your life. The reasons you have to cross all these countries to get to Costa Rica are because:

VIDEO: Gladden Spit Marine Reserve
The Whale Shark Zone, Gladden Spit is rich with marine life in addition to Whale Shark sighting it makes for a great dive experience.

VIDEO: Exploring Turneffe's Marine Biodiversity with Dr. Sylvia Earle
Turneffe is Truly a Treasure of Belize --Dr. Sylvia Earle. On a recent trip to Tunreffe Atoll, The Oceanic Society Advior Dr. Sylvia Earle exploring the most biodiverse system of it kind the western hemisphere.

VIDEO: Understanding Sharks Body Language, Lighthouse Reef
If you're a diver or snorkeling, it's good to understand a sharks body language and if it's comfortable with your presence or not. Here's a look at the sharks at Half Moon Wall.

Mikayla Wins Queen of the Bay Belmopan
Congratulations, Mikayla Banner, for winning the Queen of the Bay Belmopan pageant. She'll go on to the Queen of the Bay pageant later this Summer.

Belmopan Day
Happy Belmopan Day! They'll be having events all day to celebrate the birthday of Belmopan. Public servants began moving into their new homes and offices 43 years ago. There was an early morning bike race, there's a chess tournament, and there will be fun an games all day, along with some informational booths.

Channel 7

Exposed: The Corozal Free Zone Connection To The Salvador Drug Bust
Last night we told you about the thousand pound cocaine bust that was made in El Salvador – the 48 buckets full of drugs in a refrigerated cargo truck were declared as frozen pineapple and were destined for the Corozal Free Zone in Belize. Well, 7news has confirmed that two companies in the free zone called OXCEL and Grupo Sol have been receiving those shipments for some time. In this case it was a twin shipment, one of the trucks got intercepted in Salvador and the other one arrived in Belize at the Benque Viejo border 11 days ago, on the 21ST July. It's declared cargo was frozen pineapple valued at $65,399 dollars. But it appears the second truck – which was checked and cleared in Salvador – did have only frozen pineapple, and that's currently now sitting in a container at the Free Zone. The container has been searched by customs and the police K-9 unit and has been found to be clean. The only problem now is that it has been left un-refrigerated for 48 hours and all the once frozen pineapple inside is rotten and has to be discarded. This evening, customs was in the process of seeking authority to dump the contents. BAHA has asked that the company, Grupo Sol dig a hole to bury it.

PM On "Universal" Significance Of CCJ Judgment
Last night, 7News showed you the scathing rebuke by the Caribbean Court of Justice in their judgment a week ago on the 44 million-dollar arbitration award from the London Court of Arbitration. The court refused to enforce the arbitration award in relation to a 2005 settlement deed which former Prime Minister Said Musa and Former Attorney General Francis Fonseca entered into with the Ashcroft-Allied Company, British Caribbean Bank. They used strong language when describing their interpretation of the deed to mean that former Ministers Musa and Fonseca attempted to assume powers of the legislature which they could not hold as part of the executive. It is particularly significant to the Prime Minister Dean Barrow who has been on a campaign to resist all the agreements between the 2005 Musa Administration and the Ashcroft Alliance. Today, we caught up with him at an event in Belmopan, where he explained that this landmark judgment has implications for all the other Caribbean Countries who have the CCJ as their highest court:

PM Not Vexed With Vega For Freshpond Fuss
And while we can foresee that Fonseca will surely be the subject of many political ads using words from the judgment, another ranking politician who's sure to be caricatured in many ads is UDP Deputy Leader Gaspar Vega. The latest issue he's been at the center of is the Freshpond Fuss, where his driver went head to head with the prime minister's political officer in Queen's Square, his sister, Denise "Sister B" Barrow. As we've reported, the abandoned homes in the community had been set aside as properties earmarked for low income first time homeowners. "Sister B" had set on one for a constituent only to find that the brother of Vega's driver, Marlon Miranda had already gotten it. That set off a firestorm of discontent and recriminations, culminating in the CEO from the Ministry of Housing being escorted out of the Lands Department by an armed security guard. Because his political officer was involved, the Prime Minister looked into it himself. Today, he told us what he'd found out and why he believes that the Deputy Prime Minister did nothing wrong:

PM Says Norwegian Deal "A Balancing Act"
But, first, we turn to the done-deal between his government and Norwegian Cruise Line to build a port to call on Harvest Caye, just south of Placencia. This decision opens up the South to Cruise Tourism, which as we have shown you, is meeting quite a bit of resistance from overnight tourism interests on the Peninsula. We'll have more from them shortly, but while we had the opportunity we asked Prime Minister Dean Barrow to explain what the final MOU looked like. Here's how he described it: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "We took out the 20-year - the exemption from business taxes. That's been taken out. There is an insistence that after a certain number of years, the head tax will be increased. There is a great insistence on ensuring that the jobs will be had by Belizeans, even as we try to protect our sites against overcrowding. In other words, one provision says, 'You must take 25% or whatever the percentage is, of your passengers to our sites, whether marine or terrestrial, and all those tours must be for Belizeans. But, that percentage requirement has to give way to the fact that you have to check with the managers of those sites, and if they say that they could only take 100 visitors a day, or whatever amount, then you can't take more than 100 or 200.

BTIA: Harvest Caye Will Wreak Whirlwind Of Wreckage
On the other side of the Norwegian dispute is the Belize Tourism Industry Association, the BTIA. They've opposed the Norwegian deal for months and the Placencia Chapter headed by Real Estate Developer Stuart Krohn has been particularly vocal. As the MOU came closer to signing, they stepped it up this week with a bawdy "nuh bend down" campaign and a no-holds-barred appearance on the LOVE FM morning show. That prompted a detailed, 15-point response from the BTB – notable because for months the organization leading Belize's tourism industry had been mute on the pivotal, hot-button issue. The release talks about the 800 to one thousand jobs that will be created, the 50 million dollar investment and the expected low numbers of cruise visitors – thus minimizing the impact on the Placencia peninsula. We asked both Tourism Director Laura Esquivel Frampton and CEO Tracey Taegar Panton to amplify their comments today; both said they would call us back, but at news time we were still waiting for those call backs. Who we did get to speak to were the heads at the BTIA, Herbert Haylock and Stuart Krohn who discussed the claims of job creation and foreign direct investment:

Destinee Had A Date With Destiny At Reina De La Costa Maya
Last night in San Pedro the 2012 International La Reina De La Costa Maya Pageant was held in front of a packed audience. And in the end, after hours of anticipation, the Reina de la Costa Maya was announced as Belize's very own, Destinee Arnold. Miss Belize Destinee Arnold was crowned first place winner in the twenty second edition of the annual international pageant. And after several years, the crown is finally back at home. Here's a glimpse at the Queen's crowing moment. 20 year old Destinee won the title of Queen of the Jewel Miss Belize in July 2012 and represented Belize in the Miss International Pageant in Okinawa, Japan in 2012. She also took part in the Miss Ethnic World pageant in Long Beach California where she won the title of Miss Ethnic World 2013. We'll have much more from Destinee, including an interview with the new Queen later, courtesy REEF TV. This year, seven countries from the Central American region including Mexico, took part in the pageant.

Inside The Training Of "The Belize Seals"
Two and a half months ago, the Coast Guard quite unexpectedly announced that it was training it's first SEAL Team. Now, we all know about the US Navy SEALS, the highly specialized unit that gained iconic status when they took out Osama Bin Laden. But, a Belize SEAL team? It sounded too outlandish to be true. But it is – and we know because we have footage them training today. And with the training we saw them enduring, it must be something special! Jules Vasquez reports: Jules Vasquez Reporting They're bathing in mud, doing pushups in the midday heat, creeping around on all fours, huddling in the sun for extended periods - you may think these coast guard officers have gotten sun stroke! These 8 coast Guard officers have lived through hell, almost literally. This odd exercise you see them doing, crawling on all fours may look strange or even demeaning, but this is the culmination of what is known as "hell week".

PM Flummoxed At Rosewood Rip Off
Exactly 2 weeks ago, Forestry Minister Lisel Alamilla announced to the nation that for every container of illegally harvest rosewood which was sold during the amnesty period, the Government – and by extension the public – only got $15,000 Belize dollars. That was the deal which the Forestry Minister ultimately accepted and it came on the heels of the political hit which the UDP took because they allowed a rosewood amnesty in the first place. A major hit at that, because of the central involvement of the Deputy Prime Minister's brother, German Vega who is the leading exporter of Rosewood. This revelation was met with strong criticism that the rosewood exporters had been allowed to short-change the government in a major way. That's because that $15,000 was supposed to represent a 50% revenue split, but a container of the prized rosewood on the global market is worth far more than what that split represented. Today, we asked Prime Minister Dean Barrow about that deal which the Forestry Department took, and he wasn't familiar with the details...

PM: Buckley Should Be Compensated
Moving right along, the media also asked PM Barrow about the situation with Steven Buckley. As has been widely reported, Buckley was wrongfully shot in the head in 2010 by a police officer on duty, and since then, he's not been able to work to provide for his family. He received 2 letters from the KHMH demanding that he pay his medical bills, which according to him, the former Commissioner of Police pledged would be paid by the department. Well, that hasn't happened as yet, and after his public outcries, the KHMH agreed to back off until the criminal matter of his shooting has been dealt with. But going further than just paying his bills, there are some members of the public who believe that Buckley should be financially compensated by the Government of Belize. After 3 years of dealing with the consequences of his injuries, the media asked Barrow about Buckley's plight. He told us that if all the facts are as they have been reported, he doesn't just deserve to have his bills cleared, he also deserves due compensation: Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News

PM Meets With Evangelicals
What did the bible say about the first being last and the last being first? Well it's applicable tonight for this suite of interviews with the PM because the reason we were at the George Price Center to interview him in the first place was because he had a meeting with over 40 pastors from across country. From all indications, the PM and the Evangelical Association of Churches were at a stand-off over the gender policy. Today, he got an opportunity to meet and speak with these representatives, and after that discussion, we asked him about how it went. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "This arose out of the first meeting I'd had with the Belmopan pastors, which as you know, was about the Gender Policy. So, that was, if not a contentious meeting, certainly a meeting that saw issues discussed where there were clear differences of opinion. As a consequence of that though, Pastor Richard Smith from My Refuge Radio suggested that in order to avoid misunderstandings in the future, it might be a good thing for me to meet with a country-wide sampling of pastors, and he offered to put that together. We fixed today as the date, and this is the result. It went extremely well; I was very pleased. I considered it a privilege to be able to talk to so many of them."

Hon. King Ready For All Comers
And apart from having to deal with all that which you just saw, the PM also has to deal with sometimes difficult personalities like Mark King. He's been reinstated as Minister of State and he's back in his political clinic. But some say, Party Leader Barrow might want to replace him. Yesterday, King told us he's ready for all challengers UDP and PUP: Hon. Mark King - Area Representative, Lake Independence "It is unfortunate that I had that little incident that had mentioned about, and we're now back in the division as per the normal course. Now that I am back, we are very strong, and as you can see there is a lot of people out there to see me." Jules Vasquez "The old saying is, and the UDP was to some extent elected on this, 'take their money, and then vote them out.' How do you make sure that these people will support you on Election Day?" Hon. Mark King "Well, there are 2 things to that Jules. First of all, I am the Area Representative, and to a large extent, it doesn't matter if people are fooling you or not, you have to represent the people who voted for you, who supported you. The elections are over, so now, they are a part of this community."

Youth Orchestra Of The Americas Tour Comes To Belize
The highly acclaimed Youth Orchestra of The America's is performing in Belize on Sunday night, the last stop on a Central American Tour which took them to Panama, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala And Belize. The Orchestra features a Belizean for the first time ever – and that is Courtney Gillett on the violin. Today Alex Evans who plays bass in the Belize Youht Orchestra explained the significance of the concert. Again, the concert is free on Sunday night at 7:00 at the Memorial Park – and if you can't make it out there, Channel 7 will be showing it live.

Destinee's Story
As we showed you earlier in the news, Belizean Destinee Arnold was crowned Reina De La Costa Maya last night in San Pedro. It's a major win for Belize in the regional beauty pageant. Today she sat down with our colleague Kainie Manuel for an interview to explain her joy at winning on home turf:

An Automotive Race-track For Belize?
And while Belize has its own Reina for the next year, we might also be having our own race-track. It may sound far fetched, but the Belize Automobile Club has linked up with FIA, the international federation of automobiles. That's the governing body for motorsports worldwide, in charge of such prestigious association as Formula One and NASCAR. FIA's Technical and Sporting manager for the America's, Fernando Gutierrez-benjumea is in Belize laying the ground for a visit by Jean Todt FIA's President who is coming next week. Rhon Leckey of the Belize Automobile Club told us how things are shaping up... They met with the Minister of State with responsibility for sports today...

A Camp For Hundreds
Over the past 4 weeks, that same Ministry of Sports held 3 summer camps around the city. A hundred children got the opportunity to take part in Basketball, Football or Vollyball camps. It was a fun experience for most of the children who we visited during the weeks at camp. But every good thing must come to an end and today that end came with some goodies for the campers. 7news was at the closing ceremony this morning.


New Horizons Summer Program Comes To An End
With only a few weeks more before the end of the summer holiday for students of both the primary and secondary level today the New Horizons summer program carried out in Corozal came to an end with the distribution of certificates to participants. The program, which catered for more than 125 students, was organized by New Horizons in conjunction with the Corozal Sports Council and other members of the community with the aim of teaching participants life skills such as teamwork and self-control, through sports. Miriam Villamil– Coordinator “Great turn out lots of kids came out and the community supported us so it was a great two weeks for the kids summer camp.” Victor Castillo- reporter “How many kids at the end of today did you have registered?” Miriam Villamil– Coordinator “One hundred twenty five kids” Victor Castillo- reporter “So this week, what can you say the kids learnt?” Miriam Villamil– Coordinator “Um basically um teach them the basic fundamentals of football, basketball and softball so they have more or less an idea of how to play the sport now the rules and regulations are coming next week.”

Ten Thousand Dollars of Fiesta Rama Funds Earmarked For Student Program
Out of the money raised from Fiesta Rama 2013, ten thousand dollars has been earmarked for a special project catering to the youths of Orange Walk. The town council’s Student Self Aid Educational Program, which will assist one hundred students from across Orange Walk Town, Is set to commence on Monday August 5th. Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Walk “As a committee we have budgeted $10,000.00 out of this profit to go directly to the summer program where we will be assisting a hundred students. The first fifty students will commence this Monday, starting this Monday, we will contacting today, in fact I am right now looking over the list of students and we want to also say that there were over 170 students who applied for the summer program and it is a pity we cannot assist everybody, so we are going to call on the first fifty students today so that they could come in on Monday and then the following Monday then the other fifty students. What we are doing here basically we did not want just to hire fifty students and have them on a two week program, we try to spread it out so that we could get a hundred people to at least gain a hundred dollars towards their school expenses and so it maybe small but it is something that we believe that we are reaching out to as much as we can and so we expect that within the two week we should see a lot of young people in the street doing some work, doing community work, as part of the beautification that we have, some of them will be putting street signs that we have done and also we are going to be doing some white washing of trees so we are getting them involve in things that they would want to take ownership of what they do as young individuals.”

Orange Walk Mayor Releases Financial Report For Fiesta Rama
Fiesta Rama 2013 has come and gone and the good news tonight is that it was a huge success as the Orange Walk Town Council was able to double its profits compared to last year. Keeping in line with the council’s pledge of accountability and transparency, today Mayor of Orange Walk Town Kevin Bernard sat down with CTV3 News and gave us a financial rundown of Fiesta Rama 2013. Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Walk “I must say that we are happy to report to the public, the Orange Walkenos, that we had a very, very successful Fiesta Rama. Last year’s Fiesta Rama we manage to get a profit of ten thousand nine hundred and odd dollar, this year we double that profit we are at a profit a little over twenty one thousand dollars in profit after this year Fiesta Rama. In terms of total revenue we collect a little over eighty odd thousand throughout that weekend and that includes sales from the gate, sales from bar, sales from booth, rentals, sales from different mechanical rides and as well in terms of expenses, we spent after my figures here and we have a slight little more, that is why I am giving you a figure, we’ll make the final official report by Monday but this is where I believe it is a little over twenty one thousand, we spend a little over sixty one thousand two hundred and twenty two dollars around that in terms of expenses and that included all the different entertainment and so that we had to incur from the council perspective, including electrical work, ground, salary for workers, payment to kubuli beers and Bowen and Bowen. We are happy that we were able to meet our target and we had expected, we wanted to double last year’s profit and we did so.”

Representatives of BSCFA Educated On Fair Trade Standards
Today marked the culmination of an important workshop organized by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association for its 18 branch chairmen and other representatives. The seminar was carried out in order for those taking part to have a better understanding of Fair Trade Standards. As we reported before, the BSCFA received 8 non-conformities when they were audited by FLOCERT back in June. The workshop formed part of the corrective measures implemented by the organization in hope that cane farmers will now adhere to the rules and regulations of Fair Trade. Alfredo Ortega- Chairman, BSCFA, Committee of Management “Uno de ellos y lo más importante de ello es de que los branch chairman, la diferentes comitivas y el staff tuvieron una oportunidad de conocer más afondo que son los standards de Fair Trade, de entender mejor que son los criterios y cómo podemos aplicarlo y también unos hints de cómo podemos mejorar en las juntas que llevamos a cabo con los branches. Al no entender una cosa uno no sabe cómo tratarlo de una manera correcta y ya teniendo un a buen conocimiento de ello y ya teniendo claridad sobre de que es que uno tiene que cumplir ya eso facilita par una o sea ya va a un branch o ya sea que va a dar una explicación, ya puede dar una explicación de que es lo que quiere decir los diferentes puntos de un standard que hay que cumplir.

Miss Belize Crowned Miss Costa Maya 2013
The much anticipated one of a kind event of the year, Costa Maya 2013, began yesterday, August 1st. The show has garnered much attention in general but one main aspect of the full weekend activities is crowning La Reina De La Costa Maya. This year, seven countries from the Central American region including Mexico, participated in the much anticipated pageant. The participants included, Miss Belize “Destinee Arnold”, Miss Costa Rica “Andrea Rojas”, Miss El Salvador “Fatima Yolanda Mauricio Magandi”, Miss Mexico “Artemisa Rivera Montañes”, Miss Nicaragua “Ariadna Judith Orellana”, Miss Panama “Cleirys Velasquez”, Miss Honduras “Monica Alexis Elwing Gough”. Guatemala’s Alejandra Moralez was not able participate in the pageant. However, the seven delegates brought their beauty, elegance and glamour to the stage at the start of the 2013 Costa Maya pageant. Tonight we are proud to note that Belize’s representative, Destinee Arnold won the crown. The event started with the presentation of the cultural costumes, each representing their own country. Miss Belize displayed a costume depicting the hard working Maya women. It included a blue outfit with jewellery and a headpiece adorned with pottery, symbolizing the contribution women made to the artifacts found in ruins across the Mundo Maya Region.

NGO Comes Out In Favor of Gender Policy
The National Revised Gender Policy 2013 has garnered rigid criticism, especially from the religious sector who believes that the document promotes homosexuality. In light of their utmost discontent with the Gender Policy, the churches held peaceful demonstrations throughout the country, starting here in Orange Walk and then moving on to other districts. The largest outcome was recorded in the Toledo District with over four thousand person’s saying no to the policy. But one specific NGO here in Orange Walk is in support of the Gender Policy. Eliza Castellanos is the Director of Tikkun Olam Belize, an NGO working towards women empowerment; she says that the Gender Policy does exactly that. Castellanos believes that before coming to any conclusion, Belizeans should take the time out to read the document. Eliza Castellanos, Director, Tikkun Olam Belize “I am encouraging everybody man, woman, child, teenager, whoever can read to read the gender policy if you have any questions and you don’t understand the language in the policy please feel free to contact somebody you could contact the nationals women commission you can contact us at Tikkun Olam Belize you can find me on Facebook. At Eliza Castellanos and my number is 623-9500 in case you want further information send me a text, give me a call if you need a copy of the gender policy please feel free to let us know in any way that you can and we will help you with that information where not asking people by this standing to like people from a different way of life or not to like women or not to be pro women what we’re asking is that you read the gender policy understand it and then you will know what exactly chaos has been about.

Minor Injured During Shootout In Carmelita
As residents of Carmelita Village prepared to go to bed last night, the peace and quite of the community was disrupted as shots rang. The shots heard were aimed at a group of boys who were hanging out by the Carmelita Sports Centre. Fortunately, there was no lost of life recorded, but one minor got injured. Today we caught with the victim, who was apparently, one of the three intended targets. He spoke to us with the permission of his mother. Shooting Victim, Carmelita Village “Yesterday night I, my brother and my cousin were by the center of Carmelita. A man from this place, we were never talking to him or nothing and then he come out and tell us that how, why are we watching at him, he no like see man and then he said will show we who he and then he went home and look like he get a 16 gauge gun and after that he sneak up from behind us and started to fire shots and me and my brother and my cousin started to run and whilst running I feel a shot through my foot but I continues run with them and then we jumped into a yard and then we hide and after that they were look for us and fired shots and after that we wait a little while and jumped over the fence back and we come home.”

Drugs Destined For Belize Was Headed To The Corozal Freezone
Last night we told you about the big drug bust that was made by a joint task force of the National Civil Police and the Armed Forces of El Salvador. Close to 500 kilos of cocaine, translating close to one thousand pounds, were found hidden in 48 buckets of frozen pineapple pulp. Each bucket contained four to six kilos of cocaine. According to La Prensa Grafica from El Salvador, the cargo was destined for Belize, specifically, the Corozal Free Zone. But it seems that it’s not the first time that frozen pineapple pulp is shipped to the jewel. We have been informed that Belizean authorities have been tracking these types of containers usually headed to the Free Zone under the names of companies such as OXCEL and Grupo Sol who have been receiving these types of shipments for quite some time. Reports are that a few months ago, checks were made and samples of the pineapple were sent to CPBL for testing; they came back negative. This time, two shipments were bound for Belize. As we all know, one of the trucks got intercepted in Salvador, but the second arrived in Belize at the Benque Viejo border on the 21ST July.

Re: Today's Belize News: August 4, 2013 [Re: Marty] #469546
08/04/13 06:00 AM
08/04/13 06:00 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 80,387
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

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The Belize Times

PUP leads reform agenda – Opposition proposes less politics with new Joint Public Accounts Committee
Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee Hon. Julius Espat says that the work of the important financial check and balance body has been considerably stymied because of political influence. In November 2012, when the Committee attempted to examine the Auditor General’s inconclusive 2010/2011 audit report which found serious financial irregularities in certain Ministries, including the payment of one million dollars to Barrow & Company and Lois Young Barrow & Co, which are owned by the Prime Minister’s brother and ex-wife, it was botched when the four Government members Hon. Patrick Faber, Hon. Michael Finnegan, Hon. John Saldivar and Hon. Erwin Contreras, who hold the majority, refused to agree to have the report examined or the Auditor General Dorothy Bradley and Financial Secretary Joseph Waight questioned by the Committee.

Vega calls UDP Hustling & Corruption “Petty”
Corruption has become so widespread in the Barrow Administration that UDP politicians have become indifferent to the mass hustling that is taking place. Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega, who week after week finds ...

UDP Makes Tourism Whoreism
THE Dictatorship of Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s administration to have this week signed a wrong-headed agreement with Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL), headquartered in Miami-Dade County, Florida, to build a $100 million cruise ship terminal on ...

#1 Threat to Protected Areas: Lisel Alamilla!
The Barrow Administration’s poster girl for environmental protection, Minister of Forestry Lisel Alamilla, is the number one threat to Belize’s protected areas, according to the Association of Protected Areas Management Organisation (APAMO), the largest environmental organisation. APAMO ...

Pigs at the trough
By G. Michael Reid The nauseating stench of corruption has once again manifested itself as we hear of yet another scandal from within this Dean Barrow government. One cannot help but question the Prime Minister’s sense of smell, after all, he did promise to jump into action at the “slightest whiff ...

Named after the godfather of the UDP Gaspar Vega, who recently disclosed that he is not a normal person in Belize, VEGAnomics is now a deep-rooted economic and political system used by the Barrow Administration. It is an exploitation system that rewards family, friends and political cronies, encourages incompetence and ...

Belize Telemedia wins 2013 softball championship
The Belize Telemedia women’s softball team are the Belize City women’s softball champions for 2013, after shutting out Fresca Lady Rebels 6-0 in Game 5 of the finals at the Roger’s Stadium last Friday night. Telemedia’s Kenisha ...

Lady Jaguars win volleyball champions
It was standing room only at the Belize Elementary School auditorium last Saturday night when the Lady Jaguars won their 2nd Volleyball championship, taking Game 3 of the finals in 5 sets. The Jaguars’ Tichelle Solis, Shantel ...

Ladyville Jaguars & Sugar City Girlz draw 1-1
The Ladyville Jaguars salvaged a 1-1 draw out of the jaws of defeat when they hosted Sugar City Girlz for a back match of the ongoing Atlantic Bank national female football ...

Finnegan Fingers Sports Minister
We normally don’t give attention to the mindless gibberish that comes out of the mouth of failed Housing ...

Mark attacks Cordel
UDP area representative Mark King must be the most desperate UDP politician right now. His reputation, the little he had left actually, was left tattered following his assault of a Belize City Police Officer at the northern border earlier this year. King walked from the Court a ...

AMAZING GRACE – Fishy Transportation
During the weekend, while attending a local church’s Sunday school, a young man asked for my assistance with an oral quiz that he was participating in. The children were instructed to name a character from the Bible who was obedient to God. The young man looked expectantly at me for ...

Hon. Jose Mai donates equipment to village councils
The Hon Jose Mai donated lawn mowers to the Yo Creek and San Carlos Village Councils. Chairmen for both villages received the lawn mowers on behalf of the community. The lawn mowers will be used to upkeep ...

Fundraising for 5 yr. old Cancer Warrior, Juan Carlos Chavez
Juan Carlos Chavez is a five year old boy who has been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Juan Carlos is son of Carlos Chavez, primary school teacher at Sacred Heart Primary School, and Marceli Chavez who all ...

OW Town Council donates to BTIA OW
The Orange Walk Town Council led by Mayor Kevin Bernard continues to support our stakeholders in the Tourism Industry. A donation of a computer was made today to the Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter to ...

Instability at BTB
There seems to be a serious crisis of leadership at the Belize Tourism Board. Ian Lizarraga who was appointed BTB Chairman on April 4, 2012, walked away from the job ...

Another Independent Voice Joins the PUP
The People’s United Party is pleased to welcome Nancy Marin back home to our Party. Over the past few years Nancy has proved to a strong, independent voice on many important national issues particularly those affecting Belize’s national sovereignty ...

HOME ECONOMICS – The Poor Bourgeoisie
By Richard Harrison There are people in Belize who really believe they are rich. Rolex, Hummer, Jaguars, BMW, Million-dollar mansions, vacation condos, fancy yachts, golf clubs, first-class frequent-flier, you name it ...they have it all. Get into an accident on one of our highways... and bam ...they’re poor just like the rest of ...

GIRL POWER!!! – WIN-Belize holds Empowerment Camp 2013
The Women’s Issues Network of Belize (WIN-Belize), through their volunteer arm, the Winners’ Women’s Group (WWG) is hosting their first Annual ...

Engaging Students in Social Justice Activism
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph “If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine.” - Ernesto Guevara How do we encourage our students to engage in social justice activities? Such activities include access to fairness, democracy, and equality, and opportunities for all people regardless of gender, ...

Chaos City: No Planner
Mayor Darrell Bradley is hard headed. He is cement headed and has concrete ears with no drains like the half-done streets they are building, impeding the peoples’ concerns from coming in. Darrel Bradley has been ramming things down the throats of city residents with a resignation that ...

PUP calls for withdrawal of revised National Gender Policy
On Wednesday June 5th, 2013 Party Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca and Deputy Party Leader Julius Espat met, at their invitation, with church leaders of the Cayo District particularly those representing Belmopan and surrounding communities. Following presentations from Pastors Scott Stirm and Louis Wade, the Party Leader addressed the ...

Parochialism and Political Expediency in the Ministry of Health
The International Development Bank (IDB) and other co-financing institutions (Caribbean Development Bank and the European Union Commission) in 2000 approved a loan of US $18.126m to finance Belize’s Health Sector Reform Project (HSRP). The ...

It Was My Destiny to Love and Say Goodbye – Reflection on the artistic and teaching life of Michele Perdomo
by Yasser Musa. Today we gather in the house of the Lord St. Martin’s De Porres to celebrate the life of our dear friend Michele Perdomo. I am honored ...

The Gordon Regatta
By Yasser Musa Two young ladies dressed in polo tourism village work shirts held on to the chain link fence and stared at the mural. The evening sun illuminated the 110-foot long work of art for them. One writer posted on ...

TIMES ‘young’ MAN OF THE YEAR – 2013
No Shoes. No Shirt. No Sight. No Problem. by Kareem Musa As we approach the bend on the last quarter of 2013, a few may argue that we have jumped the gun in announcing our selection ...

Education Summer Camp in 10th Year!
By Alton F. Humes (Freelance Reporter) Educator, political and social activist and forward-thinker – that’s the best description of Mr. Peter Lacey. For a decade strong, he and his wife, ...

WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – Let’s pave the Manatee Road!!!
By Dolores Balderamos Garcia In an earlier Woman in the House article I called on the powers that be to keep the Gales Point Manatee Government Primary School open, and made the case that the community of Gales Point Manatee is a special needs village that should be given special attention. In ...

Hush Amandala, Hush
Traditionally, media houses in Belize like Kremandala go the extra mile in trying to portray themselves as existing independently of any of the dominant political parties. In their view, it is what gives them credibility. Sometimes though, that eagerness to appear independent cannot compete with the hunger ...

Reflections on the Public Square – A Smart National Economic Polic
By Francis W. Fonseca Restoring confidence in the Belizean economy starts with a Smart National Economic Policy. Belize has 8,867 square miles or 5,674,880 acres of land, 12 miles of territorial sea, 200 miles of exclusive economic zone, untold millions of barrels of petroleum and other valuable minerals and the skill and ...

Lee Mark Chang – Freetown’s Mr. Quitar?
The BELIZE TIMES has been investigating a disturbing report of UDP land grabbing in the Freetown Division, involving Lee Mark Chang, the politician who was rejected at the polls. The land in ...

Teach Children OUR Culture Not Pop Culture!
Dear Editor, Please allow me space in your newspaper to share my views on how our children are losing their cultural values. The education system in Belize is set up in a way which barely accommodates the teaching of the rich cultures and ways of life in Belize. I am appalled to ...

Great Grandfather wants to help Great Grandson start stamp/coin/postcard collection
Letter to the Editor: My name is George Phillips and I am an 84 year-old resident of Manitoba, Canada. As a young boy I had the privilege of collecting stamps/coins/postcards from around the world. There was no Internet or mass media back then and this was one of the ways that one discovered ...

Why so quiet, Mr. X?
Dear Editor, For the last five years, our country has been on the brink of falling into an abyss caused by the naked corruption and incompetence of Dean Barrow and his worthless UDP government. Belizeans have not seen new industries, no new jobs; no new classrooms. Nothing is working under Barrow. ...

Crying SHAME for Steven Buckley!
Dear Editor, It’s a downright shame and disgrace what this UDP Administration is doing to Steven Buckley. How come his area representative, the big mouth Boots Martinez, the rags to riches man with a handful of yellow mansions all over the city, can’t or refuses to step in and settle the ...

Step Aside Finnegan!
Dear Editor, I felt sorry for Finnegan when I saw him in the news, first a couple weeks ago when he was barely able to walk up the steps of his office and this week looking feeble and frail. He is clearly in deteriorating health conditions and unfit to carry out ...

Burnt to death?
Orange Walk Police officials have turned to forensic specialists to help them confirm if a body found inside the trunk of a car set on fire is that ...

The July 28th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Alleged Home Invader Freed On Bail:
    It has been quite a while since we reported on a home invasion in the community. The latest such reported incident is alleged to have occurred at around 8:30 pm on Thursday, July 18, 2013 on the George Price Highway in Santa Elena. San Ignacio police received the report home invasion in the area known as Hotpoint on the George Price Highway in Santa Elena Town. A team of policemen rushed to the area where they met Hugh Tillet, 49, Belizean laborer originally from Crooked Tree Village in the Belize District. Tillet reported that sometime around 8:25 pm he and his wife were inside the bedroom of their house when two armed, masked male persons invaded the house and kicked down the bedroom door.
  • Rest In Peace Luis Mendez:
    The family of a promising football star is today preparing to lay their loved one to rest in the wake of a tragic accident that occurred in Guatemala on the evening of Tuesday, July 23, 2013. A Guatemalan news agency informed that it was shortly after 3:00 pm on Tuesday, July 23, when the bus in which Luis Mendez, 22, of a Benque Viejo Town address in the Cayo District, was travelling from Guatemala on the return journey to Belize along with his wife when the passenger bus reportedly crashed into a trailer causing it to slide off the road, down a gully and overturned. Several passengers were injured in the accident but Mendez was the only one who died.
  • Editorial: Confused, Confused, Confused:
    As the effort continues to connect the dots, several incidents making the news in the past days and weeks are yielding more questions than answers: 1.While it is no secret that we at the STAR Newspaper hold Audrey Matura Shepard in high regard; unless she comes forward and informs otherwise, we are of the view that her hasty disconnection from OCEANA is the product of an anti-homosexual article she wrote in the Amandala newspaper yet, as OCEANA’s Representative in Belize she would allow herself to be used in the handing over of a four thousand dollar check to UNIBAM the lead group overtly promoting the homosexual agenda in Belize. 2. To the best of our knowledge UNIBAM could care less about anything having to do with on or off shore exploration for oil and even less about anything having to do with ocean protection. UNIBAM’s singular focus is the promotion of gay rights and the homosexual agenda in Belize.
  • Letter to the Editor:
    I was saddened to see the report in the STAR listed as “anti-LGBT” “anti-UNIBAM” march, when it was specifically listed as a Constitution March, standing upon the Constitutional words invoking the Supremacy of God, the position of the family, inalienable rights endowed to us by our CREATOR, and that “men & institutions remain free ONLY in respect for moral & spiritual values and the rule of law.” The word “Constitution” didn’t appear once in your article. Then to follow up with the feedback from Asa Dematteo, who is a homosexual, married to a man, from San Francisco, the epitome of debauchery & homosexual license (if you’re brave enough, look up “Folsom St. Fair” and you’ll get a good picture of San Francisco and what excites Mr. Dematteo and the world HE wants to live in.) Sorry Mr. Dematteo, we absolutely support TRUE HUMAN RIGHTS and the qualification is being a HUMAN. We do not support homosexual rights, above everyone else’s rights. Homosexual sodomy is NOT a fundamental human right. And it’s unconstitutional in Belize.
  • Guatemalans Suspected In The Stealing Of Motorcycles:
    News is today surfacing of an alleged ring of motorcycle thieves with suspected cross border origins. In the latest incident, Floyd Thiessen, 22, Belizean farmer residing in Spanish Lookout reported that at around 11:00 am on Wednesday, July 24, 2013, he was at Belize Tire Depot located on Center Road in Spanish Lookout when a relative called allegedly informing him that someone had ridden off on his 2009, 450 cc Honda Motorcycle valued at ten thousand dollars which was parked inside his garage at home. An immediate fruitless search of the Spanish Lookout area was conducted. Based on the description of the individuals and the sequence of similar incidents, police investigators are of the opinion that the motorcycle thieves are from across the border in Guatemala.
  • Lifeline Foundation receives a BZ$2 Million from the Oak Foundation for the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit:
    A press release from Life Line Foundation and the office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children today informed that the founder of Life Line Foundation and the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow is pleased to announce that the Oak Foundation has committed to donating 2 million dollars toward the construction and equipping of a new Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The release additionally informed that the donation is the result of over a year of discussions and due diligence between the Oak Foundation and the Lifeline Foundation. Half of the donation is earmarked for the construction of the new facility while the other one million dollars will go towards the procurement of equipment. The donation will allow for the works, which recently commenced on the new wing of the KHMH to move forward at a quicker pace while efforts continue to raise the remaining needed funds.
  • Belize Recognized Among the Top 10 Best Eco Vacation Spots in the World by FlipKey:
    Belize was named as one of the “Best Eco Vacation Spots” in the world by FlipKey, a TripAdvisor company. The list, developed based on both traveler feedback and industry research, commends Belize for its countless opportunities to experience incredible natural beauty and unique biodiversity. With 36 percent of Belize’s landmass and 13 percent of its waters enjoying protected status, the country has long been a leader in this category. From the majestic Blue Hole to the recently established Turneffe Marine Reserve, Belize delivers an authentic, unspoiled experience for both locals and travelers to enjoy. Many others have recognized Belize for its prominence in this category, including renowned oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, who says, “Thank you, Belize, for doing what you are on the land and in the sea; for taking care of the natural systems that take care of us. It is priceless.”
  • Sand Hill Village Gets Multi Purpose Center:
    A spanking new multipurpose centre is slated to be inaugurated this Sunday, July 28, in Sand Hill Village in the Belize Rural North Constituency of the Hon. Edmund "Clear The Land" Castro. A release from the Social Investment Fund informs that the facility will benefit over 400 students, who prior to the project had to either travel all the way to Belize City on weekends or stay back after school to do research due to the lack of computer and internet resources in the village. The project, implemented by the Social Investment Fund, was financed by the Government of Belize at a total cost of over three hundred thousand dollars of which over two hundred and eighty five thousand dollars came in the form of a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank while the remaining fifteen thousand dollars was contributed by the people of Sand Hill. The project entailed the rehabilitation of the old community centre including the addition of a one room extension to serve as a kitchen. A temporary partition to facilitate mobile health clinics was also installed.
  • Suspected Bovine Rabies Reported In Toledo:
    The Ministry of Health (MOH) is hereby notifying the public that a suspected case of bovine rabies (rabies in cow) was reported on July 24, 2013 by Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) in the New Road Area of the Toledo District. The MOH and BAHA have been engaged in the investigation and treatment of eight exposed persons as part of a proactive response pending confirmation of laboratory result on the sample. While there is no confirmed case as yet, the public is reminded that periodic cases are seen in the country alluding to active circulation of the rabies virus between the wild, livestock and domestic animals. Officials with the Ministry of Health and BAHA will continue to monitor the situation and are encouraging residents to report any animals that are showing sign of rabies which includes tiredness, fever, vomiting and anorexia, weakness, paralysis, seizures, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, excessive salivation, abnormal behavior, aggression, and/ or self-mutilation.
  • Belizeans In The United States Form A New Group To Address Dual Citizenship Rights:
    When Belize became independent on September the 21st 1981, Belizeans who were born in Belize and became citizens of the United States and other countries automatically lost their Belizean citizenships. While, people who were not born in Belize that obtained Belizean citizenship through; descent, marriage to a Belizean citizen naturalization etc. retained the citizenships of their natural born country and Belizean citizenship with all the rights, privileges and to run for office including becoming the Prime Minister of Belize.
  • BURNS:
    A young man sprinkling his lawn and bushes with pesticides wanted to check the contents of the barrel to see how much pesticide remained in it. He raised the cover and lit his lighter; the vapors ignited and engulfed him. He jumped from his truck, screaming. His neighbor came out of her house with a dozen eggs and a bowl yelling: "bring me some more eggs!" She broke them, separating the whites from the yolks. The neighbor woman helped her to apply the whites onto the young man's face. When the ambulance arrived and the EMTs saw the young man, they asked who had done this. Everyone pointed to the lady in charge. They congratulated her and said: "You have saved his face."
  • STAR Humor
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices


Little Belize Continues to Attract Big Culture
Some preparations to Belize City’s Memorial Park had to be made to accommodate a large symphony orchestra and an audience of over 1,000 music lovers, but hey, it was kind of a big deal… When it was announced that the Youth Orchestra of the Americas, also known as the YOA, would be putting on a two hour show in Belize on August 4, those in charge of such things jumped to accommodate the larger than usual number of performers and listeners. And rightly so. The YOA is a huge multicultural symphonic orchestra made up of musicians hailing from twenty different countries across the western hemisphere, giving it every right to be called world class. In addition to fostering great music, the YOA is also on an important mission, which they state is: “To bring together energetic, talented musicians to pursue excellence and celebrate cultural diversity as a catalyst for social change. The statement goes on to note that; “In ten years, YOA has become an international brand by bringing renowned artists— from Yo-Yo Ma to Paquito D’Rivera, from Plácido Domingo to Philip Glass— into the lives of young musicians and diverse audiences.”

“Magical Mystery Tour” (Part 2) from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
In the previous edition I ‘said’ that I would publish a second part for the magical mystery tour that Rose and I were lucky enough to make to the BATSUB base at Ladyville near Belize City and in this edition I do just that. Before doing this though I will bring you up-to-date on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize by letting you know and see what was going on/had been done when we visited around 16.00 hours on Thursday. As we approached the house we could see that Rene was laying floor tiles (photos in the next edition) for the kitchen/living room of the self-contained apartment on the Ground Floor but didn’t wish to disturb him so we went straight up to the First Floor where we found that Christopher had been busy.

T' Frugal Mennonite: T' Frugal Kitchin: Beef an' Noodles
Yesterdee I wantid to serve sumthin at I knew my fussy eat'r daught'r would like. So, I deecided to go fer at old favert, beef an' noodles. It is a sup'r easy recipe, but duz take a long an' loe cook time. BEEF AND NOODLES beef stew meat 1 a'ken beef consomme 1 a'ken beef an' onion soup pepp'r to taste 1 pkg. wide egg noodles flour wat'r olif' earl Heat a cuple o'tablespoons o'olif' earl n' a heevy pot. Add yer beef (cut into one inch chunks) an' one tablespoon o'flour. Brown well, the add t'consomme an' soup. Brang to a bawl, the down to a simm'r an' cov'r. Simm'r fer acoupla hours addyun' pepp'r midway through cookin. Mix three tablespoons flour wit wat'r to make a slurry. Add slurry to pun, stirryun' well, the cov'r wile y'all air cookin yer noodles. Taste t'beef an' add salt if'n neetet. Serve ov'r noodles. Sprinkle wit t'herb o'yer choice.

International Sources

The proxy wars of gay rights
"I do not pretend to understand the moral universe," wrote abolitionist minister Theodore Parker in 1853. "The arc is a long one. My eye reaches but little ways. I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by experience of sight. I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends toward justice." More than a century later, Martin Luther King Jr. paraphrased and popularized that idea. It is often quoted now for its inspirational power and the first part of Parker's metaphor gets forgotten: the reminder that while freedom might be winning the war, it will not win every battle. And sometimes - to throw one more metaphor in the mix - the march of freedom is not only arrested, but pushed back for a time. Victories for freedom in one part of the world might trigger backlashes in other parts, by forcing bigots to concentrate their efforts where they think they can win. This has happened with feminism, particularly when it comes to sexuality and reproductive freedom, and it is happening with gay rights.

Lord Ashcroft in dispute with Belize over control of offshore register
Belizean government has seized control of registers of offshore companies and ships, suggesting schism with Tory peer. Lord Ashcroft, the billionaire Tory party donor, has been drawn into a bitter row with the government of Belize over the control of its offshore register, which has been responsible for the formation of more than 100,000 companies in the tax haven. In a move that suggests a schism between the Tory peer and his adopted country, the Belize government has seized control of the International Business Companies Registry (IBCR) of offshore companies and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (Immarbe), its register of ships. The IBCR is operated by Belize International Services Limited (BISL) which is co-owned by a Panamanian law firm and Waterloo Investment Holdings Limited (WIHL), a British Virgin Islands company in which Ashcroft has a 77% stake. Waterloo says its lawyers have agreements to operate the offshore registry dating back to 1993. A deal to extend the agreement to 2020 was signed with a previous government. But Ashcroft, the former deputy chairman of the Tory party, who came under fire before the last election when it emerged he had been a "non-dom", is now at loggerheads with the government over the arrangement. complex legal case.

VIDEO of Chicken Drop

First Watch: The Garifuna Collective, 'Ubou'
It's been six years since Andy Palacio and the Garifuna Collective brought the beautifully rich music of the Garifuna people to international consciousness. Their 2007 album Watina became an instant classic, and probably did more than anything else to bring this culture and language to an international audience. But less than a year after Watina's release, Palacio, a vocalist and guitarist, was suddenly gone: dead of a heart attack and stroke at age 47. The Garifuna Collective has finally returned with a new album that bids farewell to Palacio and continues his legacy: Ayó, which means "goodbye" in the Garifuna language. While the latest video for their song "Ubou" from Ayó boasts both the saturated, tropical colors and the lovely, lilting rhythms that have endeared the Garifuna Collective's music to audiences all over the world, the lyrics are of a different shade altogether.

Should We Seek Reparations from Europe?
At a lecture entitled “Britain’s Black Debt: Reparations Owed to the Caribbean for Slavery and Indigenous Genocide”, Sir Hilary Beckles, Principal of the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies, urged CARICOM countries to seek reparation from Europe for the atrocities of slavery. Sir Hilary went on to say that seeking reparations is not about seeking handouts, but about “repairing historical damage and finding a way forward”. The Jamaica Observer has more here. According to reports from a number of news sources, CARICOM has taken up the cause, and has enlisted the assistance of British law firm Leigh Day. The firm won a battle for compensation for hundreds of Kenyans who were tortured by the British during the Mau Mau rebellien of the 1950s and 1960s. David Fitton, British High Commissioner to Jamaica has responded to the issue by saying “[Britain] doesn’t think the issue of reparations is the right way to address the issue…[or] to address an historical problem.” Since independence, the region has been on the receiving end of billions of dollars in foreign aid and support from Europe. In 2009, the European Commission agreed to provide €165 million (US$ 245.2 million) to CARICOM as part of its support for the region’s integration process. Between 1975 and 1995, Europe paid top dollar for agricultural goods originating in CARICOM countries as part of an export-led development model championed by economists of the time. While the Lomé Convention has ended, Europe continues to be the region’s primary trade partner in agricultural exports, and European tourists comprise the majority of extra-regional visitors to CARICOM countries.

To Save a Coral Reef Enabler
There’s a lion on the loose, and it’s hunting endangered prey. I’m on my way to Belize to see what I can do about it. Belize is home to a portion of the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. Hundreds of species of fish inhabit this diverse coral reef system, many of them unique to the region. This week I will conduct field work there, joining forces with a team from the Smithsonian Institution led by fish curator Carole Baldwin.

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