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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Thrive youth empowerment group kicks off!
On Wednesday, September 28th “Thrive”– a new empowerment program founded by Britney Travis was introduced. The mission of the program is to not only motivate adolescent girls to gain positive self-confidence and self-esteem, but to serve as an outlet for all youth to express themselves safely and wholesomely. Students from San Pedro High School (SPHS), and Miss San Pedro 2016-2017, Marisha Thompson, made their way to the Lions Den at 4PM, where the meeting began with fun icebreaker games. Following the games, attendants participated in “Spa Day”, where the girls were treated to massages, facials, hand scrubs, manicure, pedicures, headband crafts and hairstyling. Held under the On Eagle Wings Ministries, Travis was inspired to work alongside island youth. Since Travis was previously involved in SHINE, a program spearheaded by Michelle Nuñez (Former Miss San Pedro 2014-2015), she has embarked in starting her own group to benefit the younger generation of La Isla Bonita. “I have worked with young people for more than 10 years. I have the heart for their stage of life because they are just in an impressionable place, trying to figure out what the next steps are in life. I feel like it is so important at this stage for others to become mentors and leaders in order to guide them on the right path,” said Travis.

Patricia Marin receives George Price Service to the People Award
Saturday, September 24th marked the celebration of the People’s United Party (PUP) 66th Anniversary. The PUP National Party Council met at the Belize Elementary School auditorium in Belize City, where Opposition Party Leader, Honorable John Briceño, delivered an inspiring message reaffirming the Party’s commitment to the country of Belize. All recently elected PUP Village Council Chairpersons across Belize were in attendance, and each chairperson was given a special congratulatory award on their victory. In addition, 31 George Price Service to the People Awards were given to long-serving, and deserving PUP members. Patricia Marin of San Pedro Town was the first woman to receive this special award in the Belize Rural South constituency.

San Pedro BTIA members participate in Social Media Seminar
Members of the San Pedro Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) benefited from a Social Media seminar hosted by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and the BTIA. Held on Tuesday, September 27th at the Banyan Bay Conference room, the seminar was geared at digital media tactics used to promote the island’s tourism product. From 9:30PM to 4PM, participants learned how to properly use the different Social Media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pintrest to maximise the promotion of their products. Presenters for the day included BTB’s Direct Online Manager, Maynor Larrieu and Digital Marketing Officer, Perry Bodden. In today’s ever-evolving technology, social media has become an integral part of a business’ marketing plan, especially for those in the tourism and hospitality industry. Social media allows businesses to reach consumers from all over the world by using creative and unique methods. Both BTIA and BTB believe that such seminars strengthen Belize’s tourism product.

What ever happened to BTIA’s attempt to standardize taxis?
It’s been nine months since the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) San Pedro Branch president Melanie Paz put forth a goal to develop a standardization plan for taxi services on the island. The plan was to be a collaboration between the BTIA, Mayor Daniel Guerrero, and the local taxi associations. Since the majority of traffic issues entail speeding taxis and driver misconduct, people are wondering when this plan will take action. According to Paz, due to limited participation from taxi drivers, the plan has not been enacted. The few that have cooperated have promised to gather relevant information to establish a mutual agreement. “We have hosted meetings, but only a few taxi drivers showed up. We have also asked for information regarding their licenses. To be honest, we have not gotten anywhere with it. We have not been successful in getting their input to see what they would like,” said Paz.

Ambergris Today

Belize Stands Tall, Top 5 at Miss America Latina del Mundo Pageant
In an exciting Live Stream video witnessed all over the world, Belizean fans cheered on for their representative and native of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Michelle Nuñez (Miss San Pedro 2014), as she secured the 5th position among 39 contestants at the Miss America Latina del Mundo pageant that was held last night, September 30, 2016, at the Occidental Xcaret, Riviera Maya, Mexico. Miss Peru was crowned the 2016 Miss America Latina. It was a social media event as Michelle kept her fans, friends and family updated with her journey at the Miss America Latina through her Snapchat account, Facebook and Miss America Latina Belize 2016 Facebook Page; she was there for a week enjoying the Mexican hospitality. People from all over the world tuned in on pageant night as it was streamed live on Ambergris Today’s Facebook page.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Congratulations to Victoria House!
The 2016 Champions of the 6-A-Side Inter-Office Football Tournament!!

Miss América Latina del Mundo pageant
In case you missed it, last night Michelle Estrella Nuñez gave Belize our highest ever finish at Miss America Latina del Mundo. Not only did Michelle place in the Top 10, she went on to place in the Top 5 and finished as 4th Runner-up. She also captured the award for Most Original Costume, for a costume designed by the GMX crew of Orange Walk. Congratulations Michelle and thank you for a job very well done.

FIVB Qualification Tournament
Congratulations Team Belize - winner of the bronze medal in the FIVB Qualification Tournament. GO BELIZE!!!!

National Evangelical Association of Belize on Senator Rocke
The National Evangelical Association of Belize President Rev. Lance Lewis says that NEAB and its 250+ national churches expresses its extreme dissatisfaction and disappointment at the actions of Senator Ashley Rocke in the Senate meeting Fri. Sept 30th.It is clear that Senator Rocke represents the minuscule number of pastors that nominated him, and not the larger body of national Churches. The Senate Committee is now positioned to accomplish absolutely nothing of any kind of needed accountability. It's a sad day for Belize democracy.

Statement from Belize Teachers' Union - Corozal Town Branch
Prime Minister Barrow and his government have made every effort to intimidate, lie and threaten the teachers, parents and public. Please be guided by facts. 1. The BNTU continues and will continue to fight for the 3% salary adjustment that the GOB had AGREED to pay the teachers. 2. The BNTU DOES NOT HAVE A POLITICAL AGENDA. The 8 points that we have presented and discussed with the Prime Minister are issues that have not only impacted the teachers negatively; but also our country. Because of the existing corruption, our country is in a financial mess and is unable to meet its obligations. Hiding behind Hurricane Earl is inexcusable. 3. Our 8 points not only impact good governance, but also RESPECT FOR THE WORKER. The OSH Bill would have protected our Corozaleño who perished recently at the Central park because of poor safety standards. Many workers, like farmers, are exposed to serious health hazards without any protection. Proposal 22 is also dear to us because of the unjust action of MINISTER FABER who removed it BY THE STROKE OF A PEN from the Education Rules. Removing it means that now Non-teaching staff from grant aided schools be denied the same benefits as the Non-teaching staff from government schools. Equality for all.

Cahal Pech Archaeology Day
The Institute of Archaeology and the National Institute of Culture and History are celebrating International Archaeology Day at Cahal Pech on Friday, October 14th, from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Learn all about the Maya, and see one of the coolest sites in Belize, and the best one for playing hide and seek. They'll have activities for the kids, including mock excavations and interactive games.

Planting trees
While trees are being planted by 9 partner communities in Guatemala, here in Belize trees are also being planted near the Mopan River. Bullet Tree Police Cadets conducted tree planting today in that village.

The Reporter

Matthew now a category 4 hurricane, still heading west
The most powerful hurricane to grace thr Caribbean since 2007, Matthew, is now a category 4 hurricane, after it became a powerful caregory 5 early this morning Matthew is still on a course heading due west, with winds estimated to be around 155 miles per hour (mph), and at its peak, was as powerful as Hurricane Gilbert which ripped through Jamaica in 1988. This morning, the hurricane inundated Colombia as it churned through the northern tip of South America. Heavy flooding was reported and authorities say at least one person was swept away by a flash flood in a region that has not experienced rainfall in four years. Jamaica could begin to feel the effects of Matthew as early as today but the hurricane is expected to make landfall in the eastern part of that country on Monday, if it shifts northwards as meteorologists expect it to. Forecasters say that rainfall could reach 10 to 15 inches with some areas of Jamaica and Haiti getting 25 inches.

Teachers finalize plans to strike Monday
The over 6,000 members who make up the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) will strike on Monday. At a press conference Friday afternoon, BNTU executive confirmed their plans following a Council of Management meeting earlier in the day. BNTU president, said the membership is fully behind the decision. “Contrary to what the other side is saying, we have massive support for the actions we are taking. We are saying to our teachers stay tuned to the media, we will be giving you updates accordingly.” The teachers are striking on the basis of conflict over demands it has made of the government on national issues and Palacio warned that they will sustain their position for as long as is necessary. National Secretary of the Union, Endevora Jergenson, explained that: “The two big demands are…for the signing for the UNCAC (United Nations Convention against Corruption); we need to eliminate corruption. We’ve been fighting this for years and years and it is wrong. It was wrong in 2005 and it is still wrong. So we need to correct it. …We also call for the 13th Senator. It is our Prime Minister who signed and asked and requested and lobbied for the 13th Senator. Now he tells us he cannot fulfil it, because a 13th senator will paralyze his government. What is he?”

The Belize Times

UNION BUSTING! – MoE Moves to Intimidate Teachers
Education officials led by Minister Patrick Faber during a three-hour meeting at the ITVET compound in Belize City with general managers, secondary school principals and board chairs of secondary schools presented their plan to keep classes open despite industrial action announced by the Belize National Teachers’ Union for Monday October 3rd. The intention of the Ministry is to sign - by Sunday October 2nd - a Statutory Instrument (SI) that will see temporary replacement teachers hold over in the classrooms starting as early as Wednesday October 5th. According to Minister Patrick Faber, those “temporary” teachers will include “teachers who have not really entered the teaching profession yet but are in the teacher education institutions and they want to do an internship…so they don’t have a license yet; they don’t meet the requirements yet but this allows them to go into the classrooms to teach. It also covers these volunteer groups coming from church groups who come into the country and who want to operate in our schools on a voluntary basis or to impart some kind of special knowledge to the children.” Interestingly, even those teachers who were dismissed this past summer because they lacked the required training and certification can be hired as temporary replacement teachers. Retired teachers and even parents of good repute in the community will also be tapped, according to Faber.

Mother Nature’s Best Kept (Dirty) Secret
As we go to press, there is no indication that the Belize Police Department has moved to round up persons who appeared on a recent Showtime documentary entitled Gringo – The Dangerous Life of John McAfee. Incredibly, a Showtime film crew was able to travel to Belize for a few weeks and solve not one, but two murders. Not only that, but they got confessions on camera, as well as detailed descriptions of how both murders occurred. One man, McAfee’s driver, describes quite casually how he was given instructions to round up thugs to beat down a man from Carmelita who had offended McAfee, and how he went about it. Another man, his face disguised, described how the victim, David Middleton, was cruelly tortured before being dumped in a street in Carmelita. Middleton died from that beating, described on camera.

On the occasion of the 66th Birthday of the People’s United Party, and in a political and social climate overwhelmed by corruption and abuse by our leaders, on Thursday the PUP will launch the first policy paper of its new administration entitled Good Governance – A Shared Responsibility. The statement of commitment by the Party could not have come at a more pertinent time, as the BNTU and other organizations prepare for industrial action against an unyielding government which refuses to act against the documented corruption within its ranks. According to PUP Leader John Briceño, “If we are to improve governance in Belize it must be done not just in what we say, but also in what we do…We will have good governance if we respect and believe fervently in the Rule of Law, Accountability, and Transparency…”

Zika spreads to all districts except Corozal – Six pregnant women infected
In May 2016, Belize confirmed its first Zika case– the victim, a Belize City woman. Four months later, the virus has spread to every district except Corozal.Because the Ministry of Health has identified priority groups as children under 5, the elderly and pregnant women, out of 581 suspected cases from both public and private medical institutions only 305 samples have been sent for testing. Of the 177 results received 46 are positive for Zika, among them, 6 pregnant women. These latest figures were presented today at a press conference by experts from the Ministry of Health. The Belize District leads infections with 262 suspected cases and 21 confirmed infections. Cayo follows with 125 suspected cases, 13 of them positive. However, Toledo with 7 positive cases has the highest rate of infection with 2 confirmed Zika cases per 10,000 people. Five of the pregnant women with Zika come from Cayo while the other is a Belize City resident. Three already gave birth, and according to Dr. Natalia Largaespada-Beer, technical advisor of the Maternal and Child Health Unit, the newborns so far “haven’t shown any consequences of the Zika virus infection. But the recommendation currently is to follow up these infants up to three years.” The concern is for the possible development of microcephaly which can be caused by Zika.

It has come to this. Dean “whiff of corruption” Barrow is attacking the President and Executive of the Teachers Union. He is not as crude as Patrick Faber who publicly insulted the teachers and called their President a PUP…then threatened any and all teachers with a salary deduction if they dared to march in last Monday protest. Mr. Barrow’s threat was insidious and a tragedy. He mentioned in his video message how all the social partners and most of the other Unions had compromised and agreed with his various proposals – all but the BNTU. It is an obvious attempt to isolate the BNTU and prepare public opinion for the attack which will be coming. That attack will feature an application for an ex-parte injunction in the Supreme Court to prevent any protest or industrial action this coming Monday or any other day for that matter. The BNTU needs to quickly sit with their attorneys and discuss their limited legal options.

Tin-pot Dictator
It is with no regret that we announce the death of all trust and faith in Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his UDP administration. Mr. Barrow asked us to imagine the possibilities in 2008, and while we as a people do not lack imagination, nothing could have prepared us for what we face today – a government devoid of integrity, morality or decency, and a people devoid of hope under this UDP. Mr. Barrow’s video statement released on Sunday is telling. He seemed more like a petulant child than the leader of the nation, sulking because the representatives of the BNTU would not give him a lollipop and coddle him or give in to his tantrums. At times during the nine minute statement, he seemed unable to comprehend that nobody wanted to eat his rotten carrot, and nobody was afraid of his little stick. The Prime Minister does not understand that the shine has worn off and he has been revealed as nothing more than a pathetic tin-pot dictator. The nation needs a purge. It has become sick. We have become Mother Nature’s best kept dirty secret. Just ask John McAfee or William Danny Mason or David Nanes Schnitzer or Wonhong Kim, if you can find him. We have become an easy option for the corrupt, a corruption resort and a playground for the corrupt. Why? Because our people in power are so eminently corruptible!

SCA Volleyball Girls Win 3 at XIX CODICADER Games
St Catherine Academy volleyball girls are 3 – 1 and one win away from a medal, after winning 3 games in 4 outings at the 19th CODICADER Students’ Games at the Jose S. Ancona H. Sports Complex in Tegucigalpa from Friday to Monday, September 22-25.On Monday morning the SCA girls dominated Panama: 3-0. Kori Diego and Mya Musa led the attack with the help of Annika Brown, Aya Safa and Amber Marin, spiking home points on balls set by Alyanah Musa and libero Kiara Smith. Zazie Mckenzie, Kaylene Flowers, Alexis Burn and Aliyah Alvarez came off the bench to help win the 3 sets: 25-17, 25-18, 25-15.

Belmopan Bandits are No. 1 in PLB Football
Belmopan Bandits are No.1 in the Premier League of Belize with back to back wins in Week 6 and 7 of the opening season. The Bandits posted their 4th win: 4-1 vs. Wagiya at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium on Tuesday, Sept.20. Ian Gaynair scored the 1st goal in the 42nd minute, and Brazilian import Aloisio Teixeira scored the 2nd goal in the 48th minute and the 3rd goal in the 66th minute. Ian Gaynair scored the 4th goal in the 91st minute. Wagiya’s Evan Mariano scored in the 92nd minute.On Independence eve at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium, Verdes FC and the Placencia Assassins drew 1-1, with Verdes’ Darrel Myvette scoring in the 6th minute, and Placencia’s Ashton Torres equalized in the 90th minute.

Team Belize Wins Gold at 19th CODICADER Games
Belizean athletes won 1 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medal at the 19th CODICADER Students Games at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH) in Tegucigalpa last week from Thursday to Saturday September 22-24. Female triple jumpAshanti Carr won Gold at 11.86 meters Female long jumpAshanti Carr won Silver at 5.40 meters(Personal record – 5:44m) Female 4 x 100 meter relayBelize – silver: Ashanti and Ashonti Carr, Hillary Gladden and Faith Morris.

Education Officials Sic Police on Media
This morning, as media personnel waited outside the meeting room at the ITVET in Belize City to conduct interviews, officials from the Ministry of Education ordered the Police to remove them from the area. Amandala’s Micah Goodin and Krem’s News Director Marisol Amaya were harassed by Police who told Goodin, incredibly, that he was loitering.Goodin and Amaya refused to move, informing the officers that they were just doing their job. That’s when reinforcements from the Eastern Division Northside Strike Team were called in and the media opted to leave.

Questions to Ministers
Could the Member for Queen Square and Prime Minister provide information on all the new foreigners who have been hired at BTL to replace Belizeans? Could he further say how much these foreigners are being paid? Could the Member for Queen Square and Prime Minister say how it feels to be distrusted by the Belizean public, and could he explain how it feels to know that this UDP administration under his watch will be regarded as the most corrupt in Belize’s political history? Could the Member for Collet and Minister of Education say why he has been left out of all negotiations with the BNTU? Could he say if because of his distasteful actions lately the Prime Minister has put him on a time-out or is it that the PM knows the Union will not respect him? Could the unelected Minister of Police provide a status report on the so-called, alleged investigation into the withholding of evidence by Police in the Pakeman traffic case, and also the matter of the tampering with the blood sample of the victim?

If Dah Noh Soh
Since I’ve pretty much been around and been used and misused and abused, I felt kinda stupid not knowing what scat sex is. Hell, all these lil village girls in that absolutely amazing Gringo documentary seemed to be scat sex-perts. So I turned to my spiritual and social advisor, Google and typed it in. Not to be disappointed, my friend Google had videos and I had to go frigging look. Dammit. I am now traumatized for life. I could have lived out the rest of my days without seeing that s#*t, like literally. And since I’m on this subject, I’m never going to lie in a hammock again, hole or no hole. Hell, I may never have sex again. That’s how traumatized I am. You’re a sick man, John McAfee.
So Nanette Burstein, a film director, comes to Belize for a couple weeks and solves two murders. That damned woman needs to be made the Commissioner of Police. Hell, let’s make her the Minister of Police. She got one man to go on camera and explain how he picked up three guys to go beat up this other guy. Then she got this other guy to explain how they tortured the victim…who died by the way. But Nanette’s an over-achiever, so she hopped onto a plane and solved another murder, just like that. She got another guy to explain how he deposited money into the killer’s account and how he picked up the killer after the deed was done. She even got the killer on camera for good measure. So here’s the thing though. Nanette solved the murders, but the Belize Police haven’t gotten around to picking up these people yet. Don’t worry, they probably will, but I hear the ComPol is waiting for Showtime to send him a copy of the documentary.

United Against Corruption – SOLIDARITY!
The right of peaceful protest is a crucial part of any democratic society. Protesters can look to a number of different rights as set out in the human rights act: the right to peaceful assembly; the right to freedom of expression; the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; and the right to privacy. We are at a crossroads within our society with some of our present government ministers and supporters being caught participating in some dubious actions that are not being properly addressed by the Prime Minister as the leader of the government.The present impasse between the UDP government and the Belize National Teacher’s Union is about much more than the long delayed increment that should have been paid since April 2016. As a responsible union whose members are tasked with preparing our future leaders, it is only fitting that they are fighting against what we perceive as the social injustice we all face. Whenever corruption occurs, the cost is always being borne not by the government but rather by the entire population as it is only through the collection of taxes that the government can function.

Thinking Out Loud
The teachers of this country have been abandoned by the other unions whose leaders seem unconcerned about the corruption which is tearing apart this country and cheating our poorest Belizeans of the benefits which should be theirs. The PSU and APSSM don’t seem to give a damn – they’ve decided to sit this one out. The utility unions are more concerned with Section 53, apparently, than in getting rid of corruption. Likewise the Church seems to have backed out of the equation after the PM agreed to appeal Section 53, and the Chamber seems content to do its negotiations behind closed doors with the PM, so I’m not sure what’s happening there. I want to take this opportunity to say how proud I am of the thousands of teachers who stood up in Belmopan last week, and are still standing strong even though GOB has pulled out all the stops to attack and intimidate them. The BNTU has been accused of being all about the raise, but now the entire nation can see that our teachers are serious about fighting for structures to keep this government, and any subsequent government in check.

Independence Day Address
Thirty-five years ago today the Father of our Nation the Rt. Hon. George Price said and I quote:“Belize is a people with all the attributes of nationhood having one flag, one government, one constitution. Our mind imbues the democratic process. Our hand works the mixed economy. Our heart beats with social justice and our soul cherishes treasures of the spirit.”Today is a day to reflect and remember those audacious words for they capture the very essence of our identity. They define us as a people who desire to live free, and who work to build a fair, just and better nation. And we will continue to do so.

I have not written about Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Patrick Faber since he assumed that high office earlier this year. But there is no way we can let him off the hook. It is a veritable crying shame that such an individual holds the second most important executive position in the government. He just can’t behave himself!! It looks too as if most of the misbehaviour comes when he is in his cups with Devil Juice. I have to think that getting him to behave is as difficult as putting the proverbial genie back in the bottle from which it emerged once it was uncorked. Where is the accountability for this latest incident of his government-issued SUV ending up in the Caribbean Sea just off Marine Parade? I grew up in that vicinity, and back then we certainly did not see any fancy rides submerged near Memorial Park or the old Belize City Hospital.

It came from center court and with a play never seen nor heard in such a public arena. It came from a man of the cloth-and without incense and holy water.Bishop Christopher Glancy of the Roman Catholic Diocese was invited by the National Celebrations Committee -an official sideshow- to deliver the prayer at the official ceremonies marking the 35th anniversary of Belize’s independence.And pray he did!As a leading clergyman his prayer may have been inspired by the gospel of Luke. In the scriptures the disciples asked their Lord to teach them how to pray.

A Whole Lot of NOTHING…!
Though brilliantly articulate, I am not certain that the PM was able to stir any glimmer of hope in the Belizean populace with his 2016 Independence Day Address. He was forced to acknowledge our grim economic reality – a real situation suffered and lived on a daily basis by the ordinary struggling Belizean.“But it is also a recession for which I must say at once, we will absolutely recover,” said the PM as if by his sheer willpower Belize will pull out of this situation. “Citrus prices are robust and ticking up and the ONLY (my highlight) challenge now is financing for increased production.” That is akin to me saying that the ONLY reason that I am not a lawyer is because I didn’t study law! “The banana industry was indeed badly hit by the hurricane, but THOSE hardy farmers in the south are doing all they can to accelerate the recovery.” Take note of the PM’s choice of the third person pronoun “those.” He didn’t say “we” thus effectively telling the farmers: “you deh pan u own.”

GOB Reneges on its Own Accommodation Agreement
The Government of Belize and the Ashcroft Group of companies have until tomorrow, Thursday, to iron out on their own a compromise over differences of interpretation in the Barrow Accommodation Agreement signed in September, 2015. If they do not, the Caribbean Court of Justice will hand down a decision which is very likely to be a costly one for Government. The issue arose over the mishandling by GOB of the Barrow Accommodation Agreement with the Ashcroft Alliance. So now, they – and by extension, the Belizean public – are being sued once again at the Caribbean Court of Justice, all because they are refusing to honour the terms of the commitment Mr. Barrow made.

The Worst is Yet to Come
With much fanfare and little substance the UDP launched its election campaign with the slogan, “The best is yet to come!” while at the same time it spent on extravagance (remember the tacos party in Corozal courtesy of the present Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber?) with no long term benefits to the country.A little over 10 months into their third term, our once vibrant economy has come to a screeching halt! During his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Barrow had to finally admit that the country is facing a recession and GOB may need to increase taxes. According to the latest IMF Report which was released on Monday, the economic forecast for Belize’s economy is no rosy picture and that entity has urged GOB to increase the General Sales Tax (GST). The IMF said addressing these issues “will be important moving forward.” It noted that GDP growth slowed to 1% in 2015 and turned to negative 1.5% in the first half of 2016 due to falling oil production and reduced output in primary commodity sectors. According to the IMF, inflation was also up in early 2016 with higher food prices and the hike GOB put on fuel tax.

Parlance & Politicking…Promises vs. Delivery!
Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow has addressed the nation for 9 consecutive years, every September 21st since being elected to office in 2008. The highlight of the traditional pomp and circumstance featuring the hues of red, white and blue, is the expected juxtaposed statement of the Leader of the Opposition and the Prime Minister’s state of the nation address. But just 10 months into his third term in office, and under the weight of sobering public pressure from calls for good governance and the burden of increasing economic hardships, this year, instead of his characteristic and skilful embellishments, Barrow was forced into moderated pronouncements.From the onset he referenced challenges for the nation. His Independence Day gift, a gesture started in 2013 was conspicuously missing. Instead in 2016, he had to admit that Belize is in recession.

The Barrow Government and their agents are currently trying their very best to discredit the teachers who are not backing down on their stance against corruption in public life. The Belize National Teachers Union will once again stage a nationwide strike, staying out of the classroom and effectively shutting down schools. It could very well turn out to be an extended action which starts on Monday, October 3. It will likely continue until the Union is sure that the Prime Minister and his Cabinet gets the message. The teachers will not tolerate corruption, or superficial cosmetic changes from Barrow. They mean that they want change, and in this current climate of distrust, they’ll certainly want it in black and white, with a concrete timeline and witnesses for god measure.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Belizean Students’ Association of Jamaica prepare for Matthew
The Belizean Students’ Association of Jamaica has sent out a press release to note that there are currently sixty three (63) Belizean students residing in Kingston that will be directly affected by Hurricane Matthew. Matthew is a category 4 hurricane that is scheduled to make […]

UB supports BNTU
The faculty and staff of University of Belize in a letter dated Friday September 30, 2016 expressed its full support for the BNTU’s strike action. In its letter, UB said that as educators, they are tasked to producing socially responsible graduates. They said that they […]

Hurricane Matthew to hit Jamaica
Hurricane Matthew remains a powerful hurricane in the Caribbean sea. It is expected to turn north toward Jamaica tomorrow morning and make landfall in Jamaica on Monday. After making landfall in Jamaica on Monday, the eastern part of Cuba could see a direct hit later […]

BPP celebrate its 1st Anniversary
The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) today celebrated its first anniversary. The party says that it is “The New Political Consciousness of Belize”. In commemoration of this occasion, the party has chosen to provide a community service to senior citizens. The BPP will visit three […]

National Evangelical Association of Belize disappointed at Senator Rocke’s actions
The National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) sent out a release today expressing extreme dissatisfaction and disappointment at the actions of Senator Ashley Rocke in the Senate meeting Friday September 30th. NEAB represents over 250 churches. The release says that it is clear that Senator […]

BPP supports BNTU
The Belize Progressive Party issued a release yesterday expressing their ‘unequivocal’ support for the BNTU’s industrial action. The release states that the BPP’s solidarity with the teachers is grounded on their core principles of fostering and adhering to championing good governance practices. “Given the reality […]

Chamber of Commerce supports BNTU
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) issued a release yesterday outlining their support for BNTU’s issues of Governance. The release states that the BCCI through its senate representative was advised to support a motion calling for full and equal representation on the […]


Spooky Season is here!
Full confession: I’m a Halloween baby, so I am in heaven from October 1st through the 31st. There’s something about the decorations, fun clothing and general air of festivity. Heck, even the culture and traditional ties to the theme can be a learning experience. I indulge in the fun and pretend everyone’s celebrating ME! Phew…with that out of the way…let’s talk about the upcoming craziness that October brings! Yes, we take Halloween seriously. Weather-wise, it’s sunny 99% of the time, the winds are blowing in, hinting at some version of fall in the Caribbean. Costumes may get hot, but it’s so fun to dress up…heck, even the DOGS get into the spirit! “Trick or Treat!” cute little faces painted or covered in masks, their high pitched voices calling for some sweet goodies from the neighbors nearby. From kind neighbors who just want their littlest friends to have some fun, to businesses organizing parties…it’s all about the kids!

BNTU- More Passion Less Reason by: Aria Lightfoot
Teaching remains one of the most respected and noble professionals in Belize and lets face it, teachers possess a great deal of influence over our children and spend a great deal of time educating and molding our children and the future of Belize. If the average teacher has twenty children, spending an average of eight hours a day, it means that a teacher is working with about 160 hours of children time per day or 3200 hours per month of children time. If teachers make an average of $1500.00 a month, teachers are being paid about 46 cents an hour per child. When you break down a teacher’s salary, you get a clearer picture of how truly underpaid these professional are. While children are an investment for the future of Belize, public schools are not self sustaining because they do not generate real income especially in parts of Belize where families struggle to make ends meet; they struggle to pay school fees and struggle to buy the necessary uniforms, books and equipment. The state uses redistributive taxes from income tax, taxes from products and services to provide income for teachers and administrators, to build and maintain schools, to pay electricity, water and other bills. Studies show that the more affluent a neighborhood, the better the kids from those schools will perform because parents are then able to subsidize those deficiencies that the state in unable to provide.

International Sourcesizz

Jamaica, Long Opposed to Marijuana, Now Wants to Cash In on It
Jamaica has long bemoaned its reputation as the land of ganja. It has enforced draconian drug laws and spent millions on public education to stem its distinction as a pot mecca. But its role as a major supplier of illicit marijuana to the United States and its international image — led by the likes of Bob Marley, whose Rastafarian faith considers smoking up a religious act — have been too strong to overcome. Now, its leaders smell something else: opportunity. Having watched states like Colorado and California generate billions of dollars from marijuana, Jamaica has decided to embrace its herbaceous brand. Rather than arresting and shunning the country’s Rasta population, the Jamaican authorities will leverage it. Beyond decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana last year, Jamaica has legalized the use of medical marijuana, with its ultimate sights set on “wellness tourism” and the font of money it could bring.


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