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Last night's TV news on Channel 7 and Channel 5
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Deon McCaulay drafted to play in the Superleague Greece
Belizean football superstar Deon McCaulay has been drafted to play with an international football team in Europe. According to the Belmopan Bandits FC, the Belizean football club that McCaulay plays on, he left the country today Wednesday December 11th enroute to Athens, Greece. The 26 year old McCaulay is the forward player for the Belize National Football team and scored the first goal in the World Cup Qualifier worldwide. He held on as one of the top World Cup Qualifier striker having scored 13 goals for Belize. McCaulay is expected to sign a contract with Ael Kallonis Football Club, in Greece later this week.

Police Report
Police-NewsWhile conducting special patrol on Thursday, December 5th around midnight, a San Pedro Police officer noted that Deon Pitts, also known as "30's", was leaving the Wet Willies Dock with four ladies. Pitts appeared to be holding one of the ladies from the back of the neck. On noticing the officer, the lady stated "Officer this man is harassing me," but the officer did not respond. Five minutes later, the officer noted that Pitts punched the lady in the face and as a result, one of the lady's companion's pepper sprayed Pitts. Acting upon what had occurred, the police officer rushed to assist the ladies and detained Pitts. While escorting Pitts to the San Pedro Police Station, he managed to slip out of his T-shirt and tried to escape. In his attempt to escape Pitts ran into a nearby lamppost due to impaired vision from the pepper spray. The officer caught up to him and continued to guide him toward the station. But when they reached the roundabout, Pitts swung rapidly and threw several punches at the officer, all which missed because of poor visibility. Pitts nevertheless continued to struggle, and while the officer tried to handcuff him, he got away and ran towards the San Juan Area. The officer requested assistance from the mobile patrol unit, who later arrested Pitts. Pitts was remanded to Belize Central Prison until December 28th, 2013.

Kelly McGuire sings for Saga
A large crowd gathered at Fido's Courtyard on Tuesday December 3rd for the most wonderful evening of music and fun. Partygoers enjoyed good food and drinks; they were serenaded by the talented country artist Kelly McGuire, who collaborated with Saga and Fido's Courtyard to host the annual "Singing for Saga" night. Throughout the evening people danced, sang along, and even took part in the live auctions done by Kelly and Cowboy Doug, with all proceeds going to Saga. Saga reports that the proceeds accumulated from that night will allow them to SNIP and vaccinate over 50 island pets.

Ambergris Today

Miss Earth Belize Returns from Manila, Philippines
Amber Renee Rivero, ambassador for Belize and the chosen candidate for Miss Earth 2013, gracefully made her return to Belize on Tuesday, December 10, 2013, on the last flight from Houston, Texas. The 21-year-old was privileged to have gotten the opportunity to represent her country with her proposition being for protection and replenishment of the mangroves, which are in danger of deforestation. Miss Earth Belize is an ideal role model and was excellent at keeping it professional and classy while gaining experience in Manila, Philippines despite enduring tedious travelling and having to adjust to time zone changes. In her own words she describes her entire experience as, "a once in a lifetime experience and definitely one to cherish!" As a citizen of Belize, her pastimes include volunteer work with Oceana, as well as snorkeling in the Caribbean Sea. During relaxation period she indulges herself in playing the violin and steel pan for concerts and participates in yearly coastal clean- ups.

Flashbacks: Confirmation in San Pedro
Confirmation and First Holy Communion are currently going on in San Pedro Town. They are the second and third sacraments administered by the Catholic Faith and received by children at about the age of ten. They are big events in the life of children and needless to say there is a lot of preparations for them to include a nice white dress and as well as white pants and shirt. Shoes, of course, were not required 25 years ago in the 1950 nor 60's.

Misc Belizean Sources

Children's Inspiration Center Thanks No More Poverty and the Omidi Brothers
Kim Simplis Barrow, founder of the Belize Inspiration Center, appreciates the generous donation of Julian Omidi and Dr. Michael Omidi through and their charity, No More Poverty. Poor children in general do not have communities or services designed specifically for them and are therefore very vulnerable to the risks and dangers that pervade their lives. The center will provide daycare and afterschool programs, including computer training, sports, and the arts to children who are disadvantaged and children with disabilities. "I have always believed that a society is judged by how it treats the most vulnerable of its residents," says Kim Simplis Barrow, the founder of the Belize Inspiration Center. "As the first lady of Belize, I want to help our country grow in compassion and provide the necessary care for our impoverished children and those with disabilities in particular. I thank the Omidi brothers for helping us build this new center which I believe will truly make a difference in the lives of many."

You can't have a country without literature
Meet the Author: Zee Edgell. (4 photos)

The Last Shaman
The Last Shaman is a documentary about Lucas Medina, who resides, and has a medicinal trail, in Bullet Tree Falls. NMSU film students Alejandro Horcasitas and Neil Duran shot and edited the film while there were here last Summer. You get a good feel for Bullet Tree in the video, as well as seeing some of the sights and the Mopan river. It's cool how he gives thanks to the late Don Beto Cocom for teaching him all about medicinal plants, causing the culture to continue for future generations. Well worth a watch.

Rotaract Yalbac Literacy Project
Feelgood news of the day. Remember the awesome Rave at the Grave fundraiser the Rotaract Club had at the end of the Summer? It was to raise funds to give school supplies to primary school kids that needed them. They finally uploaded the pictures from the event. They also loaded pictures from their Haunted House they had at Hode's. Thanks, Rotaract, for brightening the lives of the kids in Cayo.

Channel 7

Gaza's Christmas "Come-Up"
Who can forget August of 2011, when the Gang Suppression Unit descended on George Street with a vengeance? That set in motion an entire chain of events that changed recent history - and ended up with a programme where city-wide gangs were basically paid to keep the peace. Well, that programme has ended but the case continued in court. And now it has ended with Government agreeing to pay a settlement of one hundred and seventy five thousand dollars ($175,000). It's a major development because, since its inception, the GSU has been heavily criticized for its muscular style of enforcement and repeated allegations of excess. Today, Daniel Ortiz spoke with the attorney for the George Street residents, and he put together a report examining the significance of the win against the GSU:

Beatdown Victim Zane Galvez Not Happy With 30K Settlement
Zane Galvez was also caught up in that rash of beatings. On that day in August, he had gone by the area to drop off some liquor for the Woodeye wake, when the GSU came in, and beat him with a bat, so severely that they smashed his arm. His hand was in a cast for two months and it took another four months to fully heal. He took out a civil suit against the GSU and the Government, which was separate from the George Street case. His attorney, Anthony Sylvester, represented him in that case, and today, the government crown counsel announced to the court that a settlement had been reached. That settlement is for 30 thousand dollars. It may sound like plenty but he says he's not satisfied because his doctor bills alone almost add up to thirty thousand dollars: Zane Galvez - Sued The Police Department "Well, I am not satisfied because I don't really agree with it because my medical expenses almost added up to the amount of the settlement. I still have a lot of pain, and I still don't have full function of my arm as yet. In weathers like this, I still feel it. So, I don't really agree with it because this is a life time wound. My arm was broken pretty badly. I was expecting more than. I am still grateful that they ruled in our favour, but at the end of the day, I don't really know what the technicalities are behind it, so I just have to say that I appreciate what the lawyers did, and I appreciate the ruling, but we aren't really satisfied. I don't think anybody is satisfied, but before we have to go through more back and forth, a lot of deliberations, and waste of the court's time, we'll just settle for it."

Cops Charged For ATM Shakedown
So, that's two major pieces of news against the police department, and tonight, we add one more: 2 officers have been criminally charged for the ATM shakedown of Thyrell Hyde, a most brazen form of police abuse caught on tape. 42 year-old Police Corporal Reymundo Requena, a resident of Benque Viejo, and 30 year-old Police Constable Edgar Teul, who resides in Belmopan were arraigned before Magistrate Clive Lino today. Requena was charged with harm against Hyde, and theft of $70. He, Teul, and another - who has yet to be detained - were jointly charged theft of $260; that was supposedly the money they withdrew from Hyde's Atlantic Bank Account from the Freetown Branch, which was caught on camera. Both officers pleaded not guilty to the charges, and were granted bail of $4,000, which they were able to meet. They must return to court on February 11, 2014, their next court date.

Drunk Man Threatens Cops, Gets Shot
And if there wasn't enough bad news about police tonight, they are also answering questions about why they shot a resident of Bella Vista Village - but in this case they say the use of force is justified. It happened on Sunday evening, when an apparently intoxicated man, 22 year old Honduran Wilmer Nunez, who had already caused havoc in a village bar met police and then started flailing his machete at them. After an ordeal of threats, warning shots, and more machete swinging, they shot him in the leg and took him to the hospital. He has since been transferred to the KHMH with a gunshot wound to the left foot and right thigh area. He is in a stable condition, and is under police guard, pending charges for the damages at the bar and the threats to police.

Search For Missing Men Turns Up Nothing, Still
Tonight, the families of the four missing fishermen continue to worry about their whereabouts because it's been 6 days since they went out on their fishing trip, and they have not returned home. As we've told you, the dread is mounting, and they are expecting the worst because one of 5 turned up dead on Monday. He died from multiple gunshot and chop wounds. As we've told you, 24 year-old Elgin "Ricey" Graham, 49 year-old Thomas Young, 26 year-old Derwin Gentle, 26 year-old Kenrick Chi, and 34 year-old Sergio Flores left for a fishing trip to Southern Long Caye since last week Thursday. Their families contacted them when they arrived at their fishing camp, and they were expected back home over the weekend. They didn't show up, and then Belize Port Authority found Young's body floating in the sea near to where the party went fishing.

Big Bagasse Breakthrough With BSI
Tonight, there is a breakthrough to report on the BSI st6andoff with cane farmers. This morning the Prime Minister got BSI/ASR to agree in principle to paying the farmers for bagasse. They haven't decided on how much they will pay, but they have agreed that some payment must be made. It's a major leap forward, and it should see the start of the season - before there are critical losses. After getting ASR/BSI to make those concessions this morning, in the afternoon, the PM went to meet with the cane farmers at the Biltmore. After a meeting that lasted little over an hour, he said that the farmers have also agreed: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister Of Belize "There's been agreement in principle with the position that I brought back from the ASR meeting. Naturally, the directors will now convene an emergency general meeting on Sunday and their acceptance will need to be ratified by the general meeting. But at this level there is an acceptance of the position. We are therefore preparing to start the crop as soon as may be possible and we are preparing to start the negotiation between the BSCFA and B.S.I., which negotiations will proceed on the basis that the payment of which bagasse is due, but that of course quantum must be agreed."

PM Says He Pays, He Hires
And while we had the Prime Minister, we also asked him about the PUP's press conference yesterday. The Leader of the Opposition and three PUP Mayor's criticized the Prime Minister for politicizing public works - and putting public funds at the discretion of unelected UDP divisional caretakers. The PM didn't shy from the charges; he reiterated what he told us yesterday: who pays the piper calls the tune: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "When they spend, they hire their persons that they wish to hire, so when government spends, to me, it is perfectly in order that government should provide the list for the recommendees from employment, so I will not resile from that at all. No caretaker has anything to do with the money. As I indicated we have entered into a contract with Mr. Woods directly. The mayor of Dangriga selected the streets. The only thing he doesn't get to do is pick the employees, and even then I gave him ten percent. Recollect that before the last election that twenty million dollars in housing money that the Venezuelans gave, which was spent in one month; no opposition person saw a penny. Recollect that the seven thousand dollars a month that the opposition representatives in the house get for the setting up of offices and for votes, you find out how many of them even have an office, by and large they put that money into their pockets. They are the last ones to talk along those lines. The mayor of Dangriga presents himself ecstatic that the government was being so good. I find it a little disappointing that he has now changed his tune at the instance of his good leader."

PM Says Christmas Cheer Programme Is The Best Opposition Has Ever Had It
And the Prime Minister also had to defend his government's Christmas Cheer programme. It seems like one shouldn't have to apologize for spending 2.2 million dollars on Christmas hand-outs, but the PUP did criticize the PM for inequitable distribution and for, again, putting public funds at the discretion of unelected UDP politicians. Here's what the PM said: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "No minister, no area representative, or no caretaker can receive any cash. The only person who have so far applied for cash is the opposition deputy leader, Julius Espat. We kind of understand the circumstance; he obviously went and bought toys in Panama before the Christmas Cheer Program was announced and now he wants us to reimburse him, ain't going to happen. You can't get any cash and in terms of the U.D.P. caretakers all they are able to do is suggest recipients for Christmas goodies which will be distributed by the or channel through the Ministry of Human Development. So, nothing is wrong; it is in my view completely fair that members of the government should be able to have distributed rather more than members of the opposition. And I am saying last year, it was same Mr. Espat who came to me and said do something for the opposition. I immediately complied. Last year they had access to the distribution to ten thousand dollars' worth of supplies. This year, they've gone up to $25,000. Lord man, compare - I never got when I was in opposition for then long year a penny from the then government. By way of Christmas Cheer by way of constituency allocation by way of nothing we are miles ahead of these people."

Collision Leaves Car Mashed, In Half
No one was seriously hurt today in a quite spectacular accident in Belize City. An Isuzu Rodeo rear ended what we think was a Nissan Altima and smashed the entire trunk of the car into nothing. The smaller car was parked and no one from in there was hurt. Additionally it happened on the shoulder of the street where cars park so traffic was not backed up. How did it happen? Well, we're not quite sure. The driver of the Rodeo declined requests for an interview.

Tourist Loses Life To Snorkelling Accident
Tonight, there is concern among tourism interests after a 58 year old cruise tourist died as the result of a snorkeling incident. Details were hard to come by and the Belize Tourism Board would only tell us that she had a history of medical problems. The tour operator also declined comment until tomorrow. We'll have more details then.

Rape Bill Will Pass House Of Reps.
Tomorrow, the House of Representatives will meet, and the Rape Bill, which generated much controversy, will go through its second and third reading. The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow, today sent out a statement saying that she will mobilize students to attend tomorrow's House Meeting. The Bill went through its first reading on September 27, and following a firestorm of controversy from the church, it went through intense consultations and revisions to reach its final draft, which will be tabled before the House tomorrow.

Zee Edgell Says Writers Must Write, No Matter What
Zee Edgell, the author of important Belizean novels including the seminal Beka Lamb is in Belize and she was celebrated today in Belmopan at the National Heritage Library. They held an event this morning called "Meet the Author" where Edgell spoke at length about her novels, as well as the craft and importance of writing. She said that writing foundations must be formed to insulate writers from the pressures of censorship or self-censorship: The Library Service also unveiled a poster-sized, archival-quality portrait of the author.

Is Europe Ready For Reparations? CARICOM Is!
The idea of reparations for slavery has been circulating in the Caribbean for some time. But now activists are trying to put some critical mass to it by calling formally on former colonizers from United Kingdom, France, The Netherlands, and other countries to apologize and pay compensation for the colonial period. Our colleague form CEEN News Kalilah Enriquez reports on a meeting held in Jamaica yesterday:

Paying It Forward At Christmas
And while the reparations movement want colonial powers to give back, today some students were learning a lesson in paying it forward. We found the standard six students of Grace Primary were going to entertain some homeless children. They told us it's all about Christmas�

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More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 5

A.S.R. agrees to come to the table to negotiate bagasse
The big news today is that the impasse between sugar-cane farmers and BSI/ASR has been breached, at least in principle and there is a deal in the making. Prime Minister [...]

Contracts for Sugar Roads should be signed no later than Friday
That's one major hurdle crossed, at least in principle. But there's still a rough and rugged road ahead - actually a lot of rough and rugged roads. Many of the [...]

PM confirms allocations and has no apology to offer
On Tuesday, P.U.P. leader Francis Fonseca rained gloom on Prime Minister Dean Barrow's Christmas Cheer Program. That program will see the allocation of ninety-thousand dollars to U.D.P. Area representatives, twenty-five [...]

VIP say Christmas Cheer is “wasteful government spree”
As we said, government will be spending two point two million dollars on its Christmas cheer program. The Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca complained on Tuesday over the lack [...]

Coast Guard widens search for missing fishermen
The search for four missing anglers, who disappeared while returning from a fishing expedition on Saturday, has expanded to southern waters.� Despite the discovery of the lifeless body of their [...]

Deon McCauley scouted by Ael Kallonis Football Club
Super striker, Deon McCauley, left Belize today for Athens, Greece. McCauley has been scouted to play professionally for a top notch Greek football club. The football sensation, who has scored [...]

PM does not apologize for his decisions in Town Council Infrastructure Projects
On Tuesday, the government came under fire from the duly elected P.U.P. mayors of three municipalities - Orange Walk, Dangriga and Punta Gorda. The issue on the table is the [...]

WPC Pate recovering from chopping incident
On December sixth senior woman police constable Marilyn Pate accompanied personnel from the Human Development Department on a routine domestic abuse call to Trial Farm in the Orange Walk District. [...]

Man recovers from injuries obtained while being pursued by police
Thirty-two-year-old Wilmer Nunez, a Honduran laborer of Bella Vista Village in the Stann Creek District, is tonight recovering at the K.H.M.H. from injuries he received while being pursued by police.� [...]

Woman crushed between a vehicle and her house
There was a tragic accident in San Lazaro in the Orange Walk District on Tuesday, which claimed the life of fifty-four year old Magdalena Castellanos. Castellanos was at her home [...]

Collision on St. Thomas Street; no one is injured
Just after two today, there was a traffic accident in front of the Belize Boxing Federation Gym at the old Center for Employment Training building near the corner of Saint [...]

Zee Edgell hosted by the National Library Service in Belmopan
Well known Belizean author, Zee Edgell, has been in Belize for about two weeks during which she has been making her media rounds. This Thursday she will be appearing on [...]

Taiwanese Ambassador hands over portfolio projects to government
A redo of a handing over of projects took place today in Belmopan. The government of Taiwan through its Ambassador, David Wu, handed over a portfolio of projects to the [...]

Belize Bank holds annual Christmas Party for students from Stella Marris
At the ITVET today, there was reason to be merry. About one hundred and twenty-five students from Stella Maris School were celebrating with the Belize Bank and Belize Bank International, [...]


PM Says EU’s Ban on Fish Products is Nothing to Worry About
On October we told you about the European Commission decision to band fish products from Belize and Spain has been the first country to have agreed to band all fish products from Belize. Today Prime Minister Dean Barrow told the media that it's nothing to worry about because the situation will be resolve soon. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW "Well that's not anything that I'd be too worried about but in any case, they are sending a mission down in January; by that time we will already have passed the regulations which I will sign anytime now. Remember we passed the Act; it's the regulations they are under. We have sent those regulations up for them to have sight of so that we can be sure that we are on the same page. So as soon as they agree I will sign off on those. So, when their mission comes in January we will be well beyond what we would have need to do to get back on the good foot."

Rotary Governor Tours Clubs in Belize
District Governor for district 4250, for Rotary International, Carmen de Villalta is in Belize on a country wide club tour. Rotary Belize forms part of District 4250 as does Honduras and Guatemala. District 4250 is comprised of 67 clubs, 9 of which are in Belize and as the District Governor, De Villalta is visiting all clubs to find out how operations has been going so far. CARMEN DE VILLALTA "So I have to go to our official visit, spend a whole day with them, go over the projects, go over the plans that they have for this year and see what I can do to help them and I am here just as a facilitator and just to see what is it that they are planning to do and what it is that they have done. There are very interesting projects in Belize; Belize is a country that is very much interested and concentrated in education. They do give a lot of scholarships to different people; so, they are heavy into education, into helping schools putting in computers, giving out books and adding a library setup as well. They also do water projects and that's very popular worldwide. Water is one of the needs that we work a lot; we are strong believers that helping with water. Many other areas are being helped with clean water in different houses in different places."

Police News
Four persons including a minor have been charged for kept ammunition without a gun licence. Police say they conducted a search at a home on Antelope Street on Tuesday morning. The search resulted in the discovery of a black plastic bag containing three live nine millimeter rounds under the house. All four persons present at the time of the search were arrested. They are 20-year-old Kenroy Willoughby, 26-year-old Nurie Polanco, 24-year-old Julian Willoughby and a minor. Two Guatemalans have been charged for drug trafficking. A special patrol unit was conducting patrol in the Ceibo Chico Conservation Post on Monday morning when they saw seven men conducting gold panning. A search conducted on a Guatemalan minor led to the discovery of 453 point five grams of green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis in a knapsack. A further search on 27-year-old Jeronimo Agusto Tsir led to the discovery of one thousand eight hundred and fourteen point three grams of suspected cannabis in his bag. Both persons were charged with drug trafficking.

Belize Takes Over Projects Initiated by Taiwan
Rice seeds, horticulture, agro-processing and the three projects have been very successful. The three projects were handed over today to the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Taiwan Mission will now shift for the next five years to new areas, including tilapia and shrimp farming and this will take place. Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega says that the agreement between Belize and Taiwan took place about five years ago. GASPAR VEGA "The Government of Taiwan was supporting us with some new projects that include the horticulture rice seedling and the agro processing; that's where we do all our dry fruits. Basically, what we are doing, we are assuming all responsibilities now. We are going to take over the responsibilities of the staffing, the entire staff now government is going to be paying for them; that agreement was made, like I said, a few years ago. That's basically what it is. Taiwan is saying it is finished now and it's the government's turn to continue the projects and our commitments is to ensure the projects continue in a satisfactory manner and we believe that we are fully capable. The staff has been trained by all the technical expertise that these people have and we are confident that we can go ahead with the projects."

Greece Contracts Belizean Football Player
There is good news tonight for football fanatics and fans of Deon McCaulay. That is because, we understands that the football star is on his way to Athens, Greece where he is expected to be contracted. McCaulay who has displayed his football skills on the international stage, is said to have been recruited by the Ael Kallonis Football Club. McClaulay is currently a player for the Belmopan Bandits but we understand that he will be released from his contract so that he can sign with Ael Kallonis Football Club.

Police Constable in Western Belize Faces Charge of Indecent Assault
A Police constable was today remanded to the Hattieville Prison on a charge of Aggravated Assault of an Indecent Nature. This comes on a report on Tuesday by a 14 year old girl who told police that on December sixth she ran away from her house and went to stay with her 16 year-old sister for the night. She said that her sister's common law-husband, who she says is a Police Constable, arrived there that night and the three of them went to sleep on the same bed. She added that on the following morning while they were still sleeping, she felt someone touching her private parts and realised that it was the policeman who she says was having sexual intercourse just then with her sister. She said that she pushed his hand away and went to hide in the bathroom out of fear. Police have since arrested Constable number 1210, Rupert Thomas, who is attached to the San Ignacio Town formation and charged him. He was remanded on December 31.

Genetically Modified Crops in Belize: Yes or No?
Grain growers, particularly those who market corn and soybean are lobbying for the passage of a proposal for the legal production and use of Genetically Modified crops. They say that it is a more economical way of producing the grains and with the same high standard quality. But many skeptics have been actively rejecting the notion to have GMO's as an option to provide food. So on Tuesday the Ministry of Agriculture held a National Conference on Agro-Biotechnology and Bio-Safety to gather the input of all relevant parties. Chief Agriculture Officer, Roberto Harrison, explained to Love News that in order for the Government to take an official position on whether to use or not to use GMO's, it must first hear all available information, scientific and otherwise. ROBERTO HARRISON "We know that there are two sides to the issue of GMO in Belize; there is the pro and there is the con. The pros are basically the producers of corn that think that growing BT corn is a viable option for increasing production in Belize. So, the ministry has brought in two experts from the international agency for cooperation agriculture from the FAO to speak on the area of bio technology and bio safety. We have also asked a representative from the Green Growers out of Spanish Lookout to speak on why they would want to introduce GMO corn in Belize and the concern citizens cite to say why we ought not to be introducing GMO corn in the country."

PM Responds to Opposition Party
Yesterday the People's United Party held a press conference to express their discontent o several decisions made by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Among does decision was the allocation of millions of dollars to municipalities for road infrastructural development projects. The three PUP run town councils have stated that they did not get a fair share of the pie and expressed that an unnecessary layer of UDP oversight has been placed upon them. Here is how the PM responded. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW "When the Town Councils spend money on street repairs, it is tax payers' money; in the same way Government spends, it is tax payers' money. When they spend they hire the persons that they wish to hire. So, when government spends, to me, it is perfectly in order that government should provide the list of recommendees for employment; so, I will not resign from that at all. No caretaker has anything to do with the money. As I have indicated we have entered into contract with Woods directly. The Mayor of Dangriga selected the streets; the only thing he doesn't get to do is to pick the employees and even then, I gave him 10%. Recollect that before the last election, that 20 million dollars in housing money that the Venezuelans gave which was spent in one month, no opposition person saw a penny. Recollect that the 7 000 dollars a month that the opposition representatives get for setting up of offices and for a support voter, you find out from them how many of them even have an office; by and large, they put that money into their pockets. So, they are the last ones to talk along those lines. The point is that Dangriga is getting a half a million dollars' worth of works. No UDP town council has gotten more than 200,000 dollars. They are getting the most PG comes next with 350. I would think that they would be grateful that in fact this government is doing for their towns and doing for the residents of their town and as I said to you yesterday the Mayor certainly of Dangriga pronounced himself ecstatic that government was being so good."


Prime Minister Barrow Responds to Dangriga Mayor's Protest over Infrastructure Money
In last night's newscast, we brought you the protest of Dangriga Mayor, Gilbert Swazo, who was up in arms over Government's alleged distribution of infrastructure money. In relation to the street works in the Stann Creek District and particularly in Dangriga, of which some $500,000 has been allocated, Mayor...

Bagasse Saga May be Near End Between BSI/ASR and BSCFA
An end to the bagasse saga may be near. This morning, the Prime Minister met with principals of American Sugar Refining (ASR) on the sugar industry impasse between Belize Sugar Industry and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association over the issue of payment to farmers for bagasse. PM Barrow...

Government of Taiwan Hands over Technical Mission to Belize
In October 15th of 1990, the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the Belize Government signed "The Agricultural Technology Cooperation Agreement" which implemented several projects in Belize aided by Taiwan Government. The Taiwan Technical Mission through its years of cooperation has built a strong friendship with Belize. Through the Taiwan...

Car Accident Interrupts the Normal Pace of St. Thomas Street
Sometime this morning, the relative peace of St. Thomas Street in Belize City was temporarily interrupted when a car, reportedly a blue Volvo, collided with a green vehicle parked near the centre-for-employment-training, crushing the car's rear end. Reports of this latest crash are still sketchy, and we were not...

Grace Primary Students Learn What This Season is For
It was a very wet day in the City today, but that did not stop the students of Grace Primary School from spreading Christmas cheer. We observed their procession and spoke to their teacher. Miss Azueta- Teacher at Grace Primary School Reporter: "Mom, tell us what is happening". Miss...


Belizean Melody: Melody Sanchez Wolfe is Making San Pedro More Beautiful
Art is good for everyone. (I'm deep, right?) Creativity, self-expression, child development, mood elevation, beauty, allowing us to dream�there are hundreds of reasons that art & culture should be part of daily life. I love the fact that everyone can do it and everyone can enjoy it. I'm no philosopher but you are picking up what I am laying down� Art, crafts, music, photography make my life better. And I love the fact that we have so many talented artists here in San Pedro and in the country of Belize. Here is one of them. Melody Sanchez-Wolfe. She has the shop "Belizean Melody Art Gallery" that not only features her work but the work of artists and craftspeople from all of Belize. You are going to want to stop in.

From Camping to Couture, the YWAM Roaring Creek Belize Experience
19 volunteers from the San Pedro Branch of the Red Cross attended the Volunteer Encounter that was held at YWAM in Roaring Creek on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 7th & 8th, 2013. The event attended by over 100 volunteers from the 6 districts of Belize, was an enormous success and an extremely productive weekend on many levels. Everyone got to meet new people and learned a lot about themselves, each other and the Belize Red Cross. Thanks to Caye Caulker Water taxi for transporting the San Pedro Branch to Belize City where we headed for HQ to get our team shirts. They had every attending district wearing a different color of the same shirt so we could easily tell who was on what team. Belize City was darker turquoise, Dangriga green, the lone Punta Gorda person in royal blue, San Pedro got baby blue, Corozal in Red and I do not have to tell you what color they gave Orange Walk :)

Cinnamon Cake

Call for Proposal from Caribbean Export Development Agency

Monster lionfish catch - 81 in 1 dive!!
ReefCI and Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) collaborating on the Lionfish removalin the Sapodilla Cayes!! A team of four from TIDE and four from ReefCI, 2 bags, a number of spears! Total Lionfish removed, ONE DIVE=81!!!!!

International Sources

The Rise of the Resource Curse: Maximizing the potential of resource-driven economies
Rising resource prices and expanded production have raised the number of countries where the resource sector represents a major share of the economy, from 58 in 1995 to 81 in 2011. That number will rise: to meet soaring demand for resources and replace rapidly depleting supply, the world should invest a total of up to $17 trillion in oil and gas and in minerals by 2030, double the historical rate. In 20 years, almost half of the world's countries could depend on their resource endowments for growth. Economies with natural-resource endowments have a huge opportunity to transform their prospects. But history suggests that they could all too easily squander the windfall. To date, resource-driven countries have tended to underperform those without significant resources: almost 80 percent of the former have a per-capita income below the global average. Since 1995, more than half of these countries have failed to match the average growth rate of all countries. Only one-third have maintained growth beyond the resource boom. Recent McKinsey research lays out a new model that could help countries capture the coming resource windfall.

Five Common Myths About Belize Busted
There is a unique pocket in the world that buzzes with warmth, inner peace and joy. The people are peaceful, with a quiet confidence emanating from their eyes. They smile broadly, and are filled with energetic laughter, friendly gazes and cozy hugs. Welcome to Belize. Belize is more than a Birkenstock, barefoot backcountry. When I told people I was going to Belize, they responded in one of three ways: "Where?" or, "Isn't that a sweaty jungle of creepy crawlers?" or, "Where is Belize anyway?" So scrap your preconceived ideas of this petite little country, smushed between Guatemala, Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Although part of Central America, both geographically and politically, it refuses to be part of its neighbors to the left. Rather, Belize celebrates a diverse culture; in fact, they're known as the Central American melting pot. With a deep Caribbean influence, you won't find chimichangas here, amigo.

Fitch Withdraws Belize Sovereign Investments III (Cayman) Limited's 'A+' Rating
Fitch Ratings has withdrawn the 'A+'/Stable rating assigned to the $85.7 million notes issued by Belize Sovereign Investments III (Cayman) Limited (BSI). The rating withdrawal follows Fitch's recent withdrawal of the 'AA-' Insurer Financial Strength (IFS) rating assigned to Steadfast Insurance Company (Steadfast). The rating of the notes was based on credit support from two insurance policies underwritten by Steadfast, and therefore linked to the IFS assigned to Steadfast.

Florida Hospital Tampa Employees Organize Mission
Employees of Florida Hospital Tampa, as an expression of their mission to "Extend the Healing ministry of Christ," are partnering with Insouciance Abroad, as they to embark on the first in a series of corporate-sponsored medical mission trips. While in San Ignacio, Belize participants of the mission trip will be lending their medical skills to the La Loma Luz Adventist Hospital by day and hosting community- and health-oriented radio programs on Faith FM radio in the evenings. Faith FM is the largest radio station reaching all of the 334,000 citizens of the country.

Fortis Announces $1.8 Billion Financing Bought Deal and Private Placement
Fortis Inc. (TSX:FTS) ("Fortis" or the "Corporation") announced today that its direct wholly owned subsidiary, FortisUS Holdings Nova Scotia Limited (the "Selling Debentureholder"), has agreed to sell $1,594,000,000 aggregate principal amount of 4.00% convertible unsecured subordinated debentures ("Debentures") of Fortis in a secondary offering on a "bought deal" basis to the public (the "Public Offering") and separately has agreed to sell $206,000,000 aggregate principal amount of Debentures to certain institutional investors on a private placement basis (the "Private Placement" and together with the Public Offering, the "Offerings"). In connection with the Public Offering, the underwriters have also been granted an over-allotment option to purchase up to an additional $239,100,000 aggregate principal amount of Debentures at the offering price, within 30 days from the date of the closing of the Public Offering solely to cover over-allotments, if any, and for market stabilization purposes.

Caricom to Update Caribbean Nations on Reparations Legal Case
Following a meeting with British law firm, Leigh, Day & Company over legal representation of Caribbean nations seeking redress from European countries for horrors endured during the 300-yearslong slave trade, the Caricom committee addressing this issue is slated to update the region on the progress of this pursuit. Signaling an earnest attempt to seek compensation from former slave-trade countries for the atrocities of the period of trans-Atlantic human trafficking, members of Caricom's reparation committee met with the British law firm yesterday in Jamaica to discuss their position. The regional reparations executive committee also hosted a preparatory meeting with the law firm after holding a series of its own internal meetings after leaders approved plans to fight Britain, Spain and other European nations for slavery compensation at the July summit in Trinidad and Tobago.

Less Than 3 Percent of Oceans in Marine Parks Despite Recent Growth
In May 1975, rising concerns about overfishing and deteriorating ocean health prompted scientists and officials from 33 countries to meet in Tokyo for the first global conference on marine parks and reserves. Noting the need for swift action to safeguard more of the sea, the delegates were unanimous in calling for the creation of a global system of marine protected areas (MPAs)-zones explicitly managed for the conservation of aquatic ecosystems. Today, with oceanic resources more threatened than ever, the world is far from that envisioned MPA network. Although coverage has doubled since 2010, just 2.8 percent of the ocean surface-some 10 million square kilometers (4 million square miles), roughly the size of the United States-is now in designated MPAs. And the level of protection varies. Some MPAs allow seabed mining, for instance, and most MPAs allow at least some fishing. In others, fishing and other destructive activities are off-limits entirely. These "no-take" MPAs, also called marine reserves, are thought to provide the greatest conservation value, yet they account for less than half of the world's marine protected area. A wealth of experience and scientific research shows that by protecting all habitats and marine life within their borders, well-managed no-take zones effectively preserve biodiversity and can restore adjacent fisheries, greatly benefiting both ecosystems and the people dependent on them. In general, fish populations increase after a reserve is established, and individual fish grow larger. Heavily overfished species usually show the greatest gains, and the positive results can come quickly.

Strolls Through Placencia
The early birds in the fam-Daddio and I. (The man responsible for all of the inspirational quotes on here.) Thongs Cafe, one of my favorite breakfast spots on the trip. Disaronno in my coffee. Because it's vacation, that's why. The ideal breakfast. And yes it tasted as amazing as it looks.

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