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Today's Belize News: January 14, 2017 #520888
01/14/17 01:04 AM
01/14/17 01:04 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,254
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP


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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, and other specials


The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro’s crocodile “Jaws” relocated to new ACES Sanctuary in Sandhill
The American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) relocated an American crocodile named “Jaws” from San Pedro to his new home at ACES’s Crocodile Sanctuary in Sandhill on Wednesday, January 11th. Jaws was rescued by ACES in 2011, where it was discovered that his lower jaw had been broken and chopped by a machete when he was a juvenile. Despite Jaws being a healthy adult male, he is unable to survive in the wild due to his human-inflicted injury. According to an ACES statement, fixing his jaw would entail a risky surgery, which would likely not mend due to the crocodile’s strong bite force. Therefore, they made the decision that Jaws would need to remain in captivity. The relocation was led by Expert Crocodile Behaviorist and Co-Founder of ACES Vince Rose, and ACES’s assistant Crocodile Conservationist Chris Summers. On Wednesday afternoon, January 11th they both prepared Jaws for his journey and escorted him to the mainland. With boat transportation generously provided by Belize’s Quality Poultry Products Limited, Jaws was transported to ACES’s newest crocodile sanctuary located within David Gegg’s eco-attraction in Sandhill, The Rainforest Adventure Zone (RAZ).

The Belize Blue Hole nominated for Best Caribbean Dive Site; VOTE now!
The old motto ‘Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret’ can no longer apply, as Belize is becoming increasingly popular as a travel destination. Not only has the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) released an impressive end of year report on tourism arrivals for 2016, but they also shared that Belize has been nominated in the latest 10 Best Readers’ Choice Award contest.

GOB calls off public consultations on Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey
The Government of Belize (GOB) has cancelled its planned public consultations on the Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey. The brief press release did not detail why the January 18th and 25th consultations were called off, or if the survey is still taking place. Following the press release, the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage wrote the GOB to ask if only the consultations were cancelled, or if the entire survey had been cancelled. There has been no response from GOB as yet. Before the consultations were cancelled, Belizeans across the country were gearing up for a massive demonstration against the Government. On Monday, January 9th, Oceana in Belize and The Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage hosted a public meeting in San Pedro Town. The meeting saw environmentalists and tourism stakeholders strongly rejecting the Government’s position on oil exploration.

Kent Bob Gabourel & BSFC El Pescador team dominate Weekend Warriors’ New Year’s race
San Pedro was well represented when island athletes competed in the Weekend Warriors’ New Year’s race, organized by the Weekend Warriors Cycling Club. Kent “Bob” Gabourel of Team Kulture Megabytes won the A category race while Ed Blank and Lisa Berger, both of Team BSFC El Pescador, swept the 1st and 2nd prizes in the C category race. Gabourel clocked 2:08:40 on his 54-mile ride from Mile 40 via the Burrell Boom bypass to Hattieville, onto the George Price Highway to the Fabers Road roundabout and over the Chetumal St. bridge, turning back on to the Philip Goldson Highway, turning north at the NAPA roundabout to finish at M&M Engineering in Belize City on Sunday morning, January 8th. The BSFC El Pescador cyclists won the 41-mile C category race that started from Crooked Tree junction and followed the same route as the A and B categories to the finish line; Ed Blank clocked 2:10:11 on the ride to win the 1st prize and a trophy.

SPTC working on rehabilitating island roads
Currently, all the material for the rehabilitation of roads is being brought in from the quarry on the northern part of the island. Guerrero stated that it is cheaper and it is of good quality. “We hope that the weather cooperates so we can take advantage of this good material. The faster we can address the road situation on the island, the better for everyone.” According to Guerrero, San Pablo, DFC and Escalante will soon see some development in their roads as the SPTC understands the urgency in those areas. The roads by the Mosquito Coast can also expect some rehabilitation, in time as well. Guerrero also touched on the proposed paving of the stretch of road starting from Mahogany Bay. He indicated that there is still no set date when it will happen. “The plan to pave that piece of road is still on the table,” said Guerrero. “However, we are still negotiating with the partnership that will assist us with that project.” It is believed that the paving of that road will greatly benefit the residents and businesses of South Ambergris Caye by making them more accessible. In the meantime, residents are being asked to be patient, as assistance will gradually come to their areas. The SPTC is committed to render assistance to all areas that need urgent road repairs. The present works on the roads are being fully financed by the SPTC.

Ambergris Today

Crocodile Jaws Relocated from San Pedro to Mainland
American Crocodile Education Sanctuary relocated a rescued American crocodile named “Jaws” from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, to his new home at ACES’s Crocodile Sanctuary on the mainland. Jaws, A healthy adult male, was rescued by ACES in 2011 and was unable to successfully survive in the wild due to a human-inflicted injury. Already healed at the time ACES rescued him, Jaws’s lower jaw had been apparently chopped by a machete and broken when he was a juvenile. ACES states, “Fixing his jaw would entail a risky surgery which would likely not mend due to crocodiles’ strong bite force; hence, Jaws will need to remain in captivity.” Jaws is an internationally famous crocodile having appeared on National Geographic, Poland, in 2013 while filming episode on ACES’s crocodile conservation efforts in Belize. Expert Crocodile Behaviorist and Co-Founder of ACES, Vincent Rose led the relocation. ACES’s assistant Crocodile Conservationist Chris Summers, prepared Jaws for his journey and escort the infamous crocodile to the mainland.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Mrs. Laura Longsworth was today sworn as the Speaker of the House of Representatives
A special sitting of the House of Representatives is underway, with a new Speaker, Laura Longsworth, in the chair.

Shyne Barrow delivers music stands to Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence
Yesterday, the Music Ambassador visited the Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence to deliver music stands. The donation will assist the Institute's programs which seek to offer alternatives for communities heavily affected by crime and violence. Thanks to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and his wife for having such an impactful institute that is a safe haven for young children in communities where crime and violence is sometimes seen as the only choice. Thanks to band instructor Mr. Daniel Bennett who has been in the business for over 40 years and is committed to teaching the next generation of instrumentalist. The office of the Music Ambassador along with Foreign Minister Elrington and the Samuel Haynes Institute encourages all young people to make the best choices and know there are options other than crime and violence.

Mr. Felix Ayuso Sr. passes away
Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Ayuso family & friends on the passing of Mr. Felix Ayuso Sr. Mr. Ayuso owned one of the first Taxi Services in San Pedro where he made sure both residents and visitors ride in comfort to their destination. May his soul rest in peace.

Support local artist Carlos Carillo
Please support local artist Carlos Carillo. He has currently set shop across from VIP Transfer, just entering Corozal. His art work is for sale all day today and tomorrow!

Chiquibul Challenge Marathon
The Chiquibul Challenge Marathon is on Sunday, March 12th. There are half and full marathon categories. Email the registration form to bzwildlifeclinic@gmail.com if you're planning on participating. Have fun, get a great workout, and help protect the Chiquibul. "Join the race for conservation and participate or sponsor the first Chiquibul Challenge Marathon! Run or walk a half marathon (20km), or go for the full distance (40km) in one of the most beautiful and pristine places on Earth. Learn more about the challenges for Chiquibul and contribute to its conservation... For the first year we expect to increase awareness of the Chiquibul, its beauty and threats, and to celebrate fitness. Proceeds of this race will be shared between 2 non-profit conservation organisations: Friends for Conservation & Development (FCD) and the Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic (BWRC) to support it's conservation work with the Scarlet Macaws of the Chiquibul in partnership with FCD. We need lots of volunteers, sponsors for transportation, food and water, Gatorade, prize money, and station prizes, medals, t-shirts and printing. We need race officials, time keepers, massage therapists and a clean-up crew."

Belize Bird Rescue Education Campaign
Dear all. We're heading rapidly into breeding season and it's time to start our education campaign. Following the closure of licence applications, we expect to see far fewer wild baby parrots being poached in 2017. To keep the law fresh in everyone's mind, we want to put up a banner reminding everyone to 'Let Them Fly Free' We have $112US already, we need another $110US for a 10'x5' or $300US for 10'x10' Check out our fundraiser and spread the word. let's see if we can make this a record-fast campaign!

Centroamericana Football Tournament
Belize 0, Panama 0 Final score

Belize group calls for end to sexual abuse of children
The National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC) Friday said it remained deeply concerned about the most “recent hideous act of leaked sex tapes with alleged under-aged girls” on the social website, Facebook. NCFC, which says it has a mandate to advocate for the protection of all children, said media reports over the weekend had reported that the videos of young girls engaged in sexual activities were posted on social media and shared hundreds of times. “The leaked tapes have not only caused pandemonium but were most alarming since some of the participants appeared to be minors and somewhat inebriated.”

Regional Multi-Destination Tourism Workshop
The Regional Multi-Destination Tourism Workshop is geared to encourage tourism stakeholders to develop all inclusive packages to motivate Central Americans to visit the region. January 23, Radisson Fort George, 8:30am-3pm.

CHARLES GOFF: BELIZE'S MOST DOMINANT BASKETBALL CENTER!
Belizean 1960's, 70's and 80's basketball has seen many a big man come through the middle on a Belizean basketball court, but through the lens of many a Belizean sports enthusiast, Belizean basketball center of the 1970's basketball great team "Wheels", Charles Goff, had made a serious impact on Belize's basketball landscape. Depending on which way you want to look at it, Goff dominated the center as one of Belize's most domineering big men, under considerably pressure and opposition from others like J.J. Lynch and Emile Grinage of the legendary Belize basketball team Happy Home Builders. In our Belizean Legends interview with Goff last year, he remembered how it was when he was a novice under the shadows of the towering Wilton "Cama" Cumberbatch who at that time stood more than six feet tall and who taught him many basics in terms of how to dominate in the center. But Goff reflected that he had to wait his turn as a junior member of Cama's team at that time. "I really was getting tired of just sitting on the bench", said Goff. "But as soon as I got my chance to play I worked hard on becoming better at the game all the time."

WHEN RAYMOND GONGORA REVOLUTIONIZED BELIZEAN THEATER!
1970's Belizean theater can be dubbed as "The Belizean Artistic Renaissance" since its period of high quality accomplished Belizean drama taken from the streets of Belize City and the underlining Creole villages of Belize District, carried the narratives of Belizean ancestors of African Creole folklore. But these stories would not have been preserved if was not for the work of a drama group from Belize City called, "The Square Peg Players", that was the brilliant brainchild of the legendary Belizean actor, playwright, and visionary, Raymond Gongora. Gongora's range as an artistic interpreter was seen in his ability to take the language of the common day Belizean folk of the 1970's Belize, and captured it in prose and drama. He was the architect of Belizean comedy theater pulling from the incredible works of legendary Belizean artists and playwrights like Evan X Hyde, George Gabb and Sandra Coye. He turned these works into masterpieces of Belizean artistic freedom that served as a main source of entertainment at that time when radio was the only medium of communication and the coming of television was never even realized. As the period of the 1970's in Belize unraveled under a monopoly radio station in Belize that was controlled by what had appeared to be a single party domination of Belizean politics that scrutinized everything Belizeans said and do, Gongora and his cadre of talented Belizean actors and actresses like the legendary and late Beverly Smith Lopez exploded on the Belizean stage with memorable acts that today is nostalgia to the yearning Belizean soul.

LENNOX SAMUELS, THE WORLD & BELIZE!
When you are persistent and patient there are many credible things that come your way. This awesome story about a renaissance man named Lennox Samuels who hails from Belizean shores was intended to be written some thirty years ago. And through the kind patronage of some very good friends, it has finally come to view and to you the Belizean Legends audience. Early in my migration from Belize to the windy city of Chicago, Illinois in the United States in 1981, one of my brothers had introduced me to a Belizean brother, Calvin Flowers, studying medicine at the University of Chicago. It was an opportunity of a lifetime that was given to me in concern for my educational pursuits since yours truly's journey had began as a medical student and later ended up as one in the field of journalism. Calvin Flower's struggle to succeed will require volumes here, and for another time, but he painted for me a portrait of a Belizean colleague who had succeeded spectacularly in the field of journalism and was doing big things already on the American scene. Calvin said Samuels wrote a story about him called,"Illegal Alien", after the outstanding journalist had completed a Masters Degree in Journalism at Marquette University. The story thrilled me emotionally as much as the one of Calvin's iron-man personality that was unraveled in front of me as a positive role model of perseverance and tenacity.

Channel 7

Why Was Senior Citizen Fisherman Killed?
Last night we showed you footage of the Western Highway murder. After 5:00 yesterday evening police were called out to mile 3, in a swampy area way off the highway. There, they found the body of 62 year old Salvador Marquez with several chop wounds to the head. The family told us today that everything seemed just fine yesterday morning when Marquez left to go fishing as he normally does. But it turned out to be far from ordinary when his son found his dead body on the beachside hours later. Here's what I found out today:... Salvador Marquez always had his fishing gear laid out from early in the morning. His net along with this ice box attached to his bicycle. Marquez would leave around 8:00 in the morning and ride to his favorite spot near mile 3 on the Western Highway, behind Tapir Nightclub. Yesterday was no different. But now this coastline view that Marquez had been enjoying for 4 years is is now tainted by his murder.

PM Says Ready To Go To War With Ashcroft Alliance If Any Moves Made Against Belizean Assets
Turning now to today's House Sitting - it was the first for 2017, and the first for new Speaker Laura Longsworth. We'll show you her election to the Speaker's seat later on but we start with the biggest news out of today's meeting. And that is the Prime Minister's defiant position that his government flatly will not pay the fifty million US dollars in arbitration awards that are owed to the Ashcroft Alliance. As we told you earlier this week - the US Supreme Court has refused to hear a case coming from a US District Court. That judgment said the Government of Belize must pay two Ashcroft Alliance Companies a total of 50 million US dollars. Earlier this week, the Prime Minister's Office sent out a release saying Government won't pay, Today in the House the Prime Minister added more depth to it. He said it's not simply an act of defiance to the US Courts, it's a matter of sovereign importance, since the CCJ had already ruled against these judgments. Here's how he put it:...

What Would John B Do?
So, the Prime Minister says he's prepared to go to war with the Ashcroft Alliance if any move is made to seize Belize's foreign assets - even though he claims to know of no such assets. But what would the Leader of the Opposition do? That's what the media asked him today:… Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "But he has been running his government as if it is a law firm. So far he has a zero batting average that he has been losing all of these cases. And now put our country in peril because of those foolish, wrong, and rash decisions that he has made. So now what's the best thing for him to do is to continue the blame game. The Belizean people have spoken on that. We have gone through 3 elections. He has to man up and accept that he has made some terrible decisions that now is costing this country, the Belizean people hundreds of millions of dollars." Reporter: "Sir do you not see the argument that was put forward by the Prime Minister this morning and that he can take the decision to say 'based on all of that I will not pay'." Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "As I said I don't have all the information. My immediate emotional response was to be like 'well then we don't want to pay'. But until I can see all the information and get the best legal advice to advise him, I can't answer."

Belize Offers Bondholders 4%
2 and a half months ago, we told you about the Barrow Administration's attempt to convince holders of the Superbond to restructure for a third time. Well, Government has now presented an offer to bondholders. Principally, government wants to adjust the interest rate. That rate is currently 5% per annum, stepping up to 6.77%, starting August 20 of this year. The Government of Belize wants to amend that by fixing it at 4% per annum starting with the next payment, which is due in a month. To make the offer more attractive, Belize is also offering to pay holders a consent fee of 0.25% of the face value of the bond. This consent solicitation, which is simply an invitation to discuss, closes in two weeks, on January 26, 2017.

New Speaker Takes The Chair, With Grace
And now back to today's House Meeting. It was a historic day in the House as the UDP Government saw the ascent of its first female Speaker of the House. The PUP had two during their two-term tenure, and now the UDP has brought in Nurse Laura Tucker-Longsworth. She's well known for her professionalism in the medical field, and her serene and stately demeanor. It is hoped that she can use those traits to bring so harmony and civility to the often-fractious house. But it's not like an appointment or a contract officer who just shows up for work; not at all. The Speaker of the House - like all other members of the House - must be elected - and here's how that Ceremony went today:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "I propose to the house Mrs. Laura Tucker Longsworth as the new speaker."

Motion to Bring Back Julius
And the first order of business was the single matter that perhaps played a part in Laura Longsworth's ascension. Her predecessor Mike Peyrefitte had famously clashed with the PUP Representative for Cayo South Julius Espat, resulting in his forcible ejection from the House. So, today, the House heard the motion from the government side to bring Espat back - but it's clear that there were definitely mixed feelings about it:... Hon. Laura Longsworth, Speaker of the House: "It is therefore for this honorable house to consider a resolution to terminate the suspension of the honorable member at this time." Hon. Michael Finnegan: "And that I hope and pray to the lord in heaven that as long as I live I will never want to witness what happened on the 26th of August last year. I would hope that every member in this house must realize that you are the person, Madam Speaker, that is in charge of this house. You have the last decision to make whether we agree with you or we don't. Your decision is the rule of the day. Madam Speaker, I move a resolution that the Honorable Julius Espat, member for Cayo South be reinstated to his parliamentary duties and attend the next siting of the house of representatives."

PUP Firmly Opposes Change In Referendum Threshold
And he surely would have wanted to be part of the very lively debate on the Referendum Amendment Bill, which was brought back for its second and third readings. At least 10 members on the PUP bench stood up to oppose it. As we've reported, the bill seeks to lower the threshold for the passage of referendum to a simple majority: 50% + 1. The UDP had set the threshold at 60%, but in a gesture of goodwill to the international community, the new law lowers it to 50% to bring it in line with Guatemala's. That paves the way for referendums in both countries on whether the Belize - Guatemala Territorial Dispute should go to the ICJ. The PUP calls it the appeasement of an unfriendly neighbor:...

GOB Balks At Li Mark's Asking Price For Chon Saan Bldg
And one more matter which came to the House floor today was the issue of whether government had moved ahead to purchase the Chon Saan building in Belmopan as the new Headquarters for the Immigration Department. The question came from an opposition member to the Prime Minister. As we reported one month ago, it was all both a done deal, and the Ministry of Finance was in the final stages of negotiation. But as they say, there's many a slip between the cup and lip, and it seems this sale slipped down because the seller, Li Mark Chang is asking for too high a price:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "The owners of Chon Saan did approached government with an offer to sell its building. Government has not agree to do so, because principally the asking price from the owners of the property is too much. What we did, as I said we did have an interest because of the urgency of the needs of the Immigration Department, we got an independent professional valuer to do a valuation and the valuation that he came up with is something like $300,000 plus dollars less than the asking price from the owners from Chon Saan. Except they would be prepared to sell for the price that the valuer has come up with, there will be no purchase. I am never going to have government pay a money for premises from anybody at a rate that the professional say would be excessive."

Garbage Being Moved, Slowly
On Tuesday we told you about the build up of waste at local garbage transfer stations. The problem started when the MEXICAN company responsible for taking the waste from the transfer stations to the regional landfill abruptly ceased operations last week. But, according to a press release from the Solid Waste Management Authority, a solution was already in the works. We stopped by the Belize City transfer station today to see if there had been any progress, and there had been. While the waste has continued to pile up, we noticed that some of it was being loaded onto trucks and transported out of the station. We tried to contact the Solid Waste Management Authority for an update, but were unable to reach them.

Football Jaguars Ready For Panama
Tonight - in just about 25 minutes - the Belize Jaguars are playing their first game in the Copa Centroamericano tournament, or Nation's Cup in Panama. The team - under a new Polish coach - has been practicing together for six weeks, and have are confident that they will surprise many opponents. A few hours ago, we spoke to Marlon Kuylen, the President of the Football Federation of Belize about how confident they are in going up against the host nation tonight... The game starts at 8 - and you can catch it here on Channel 7. This tournament is a qualifier for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Burglar Robbed The Deputy Governor
Tonight, 32 year-old Leon Price is at prison tonight awaiting a sentencing after he was convicted of burglary in the Magistrate's Court. He was accused of breaking into the home of Christine Vellos, the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, and stealing $3,000 worth of her jewelry. Her husband, Russell Vellos, who is the editor of the Amandala Newspaper, testified against Price that the incident happened on August 13, 2016, when Price was working for him in the yard. He said that he gave his house keys to Price so that he could deliver it to their cleaning lady, Juanita Lopez, because he had to go out. He made it explicitly clear that he did not give Price permission to enter his house.

Another Hilux Stolen
Another Toyota Hilux has been stolen in Cayo. San Ignacio Police are looking closely at this one though. That's because the person reporting the theft said that someone came to him and told him he had come to pick up the 2014 Hilux, and he just handed over the key. Police note that they also took 6 hours to report the theft. The Hilux had a tracking device and it has been traced to Melchor. Other details have not been reported by the Police press office.

13th Senator Confusion
Today, the House of Representatives passed the NGO Amendment Bill - meaning it will go to the Senate next week Thursday. That's the day before the commencement order for the new 13th. Senator from the NGO Community comes into effect - meaning he cannot be in the Senate to debate it. The Leader of the Opposition has interpreted this timing as almost malicious:... But while government has said that the commencement order for the 13th Senator takes effect on the 20th January - it seems many have concluded that will be the day of the swearing in. But, not according to Minister Godwin Hulse. Yesterday, he told LOVE FM it may take a few months before Osmany Salas takes up his seat as the 13th Senator:… When the 13th Senator takes up his seat, it will stack 7 non-UDP Senators against the UDP's 6 - while the president still has a casting vote.

Channel 5

House meets with new Speaker in the chair
The House of Representatives held its first sitting of the New Year in Belmopan today. The session continued through the afternoon with extensive debate on the amendment to the Referendum [...]

Julius will be back – but is he really sorry?
Absent for this first sitting of the House of Representatives in 2017, was Cayo South area representative Julius Espat. He has not seen the halls of the National Assembly since [...]

Referendum Act: will amendment pave way for I.C.J. resolution?
The House introduced six new Bills and read four others held over from the last meeting. The most important of them is the amendment to the Referendum Act, which proposes [...]

P.U.P. reps demand proper education and justice for Guatemala’s wrongs
Debate on the amendment was fierce and robust. Members of the Opposition focused on other issues that need to be addressed before any referendum is considered, such as a re-registration [...]

The Maritime Areas Act will be amended, says P.M.
In the context of the discussions on the amendment to the Referendum Act, a nearly quarter-century old piece of legislation that once split the United Democratic Party was brought back [...]

Why G.O.B. will not pay arbitration awards (except maybe Newco’s)
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has been consistent in opposing payment of arbitration awards to the former B.C.B. Holdings and Belize Social Development Limited in respect of action over the Settlement [...]

Time to “man up”, Opposition Leader tells Prime Minister
The Prime Minister pointed out, surprisingly, that in Belize all the cases he has resisted with regard to arbitration awards, the Government has won. But what has been the economic [...]

Police, family puzzle over murder of Salvador Marquez
A sixty-two-year old man who left his home to go fishing on Thursday never made it back home in the Gungulung community, Belize City. Salvador Rivera Marquez suffered a horrible [...]

Boy pepper sprayed, others brutalized in G.S.U. Pickstock raid
The Gang Suppression Unit is under fire once again, following allegations of police brutality at the hands of its officers.  Forty-three-year-old Earl Belisle, his girlfriend and their seven-year-old son stopped [...]

No-go on Chon Saan Building purchase for Immigration
Back to the House…the Immigration Department has been seeking a new home, and the owners of Chon Saan Palace in Belmopan have stepped forward to offer shelter. It is not [...]

N.C.L. still committed to Old Capital calls says Tourism Minister
Harvest Caye, the exclusive island property owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines in the South of Belize, continues to be a sore point for some tour operators, who complain that they [...]

Progressives, Territorial Volunteers protest outside House
While inside the House, the amendment to the Referendum Act was thoroughly debated, outside a small group of protestors also had their say. A protest against the amendment was organized [...]

Should taxes be raised or spread around?
It is widely speculated that the budget for the new financial year will contain increase taxation due to the current economic crunch. The country is in recession and facing debts [...]

B.P.P. questions Integrity Commission’s decision to forgo penalties
After years without a functioning Integrity Commission, on Thursday, a group of seven Belizeans was formally appointed with a mandate to scrutinize declared statements of assets and liabilities of elected [...]

Seismic testing canceled; environmentalists want to know what happens next
Are the multi-beam and sea seep survey done once and for all? We can confirm that the activities have been cancelled – but what we don’t know is if it [...]

BFLA hosts health fair
If you haven’t done any of your health checks for the New Year, Saturday may be a good time to start.  The Belize Family Life Association is hosting its first [...]

Miss Belize in Philippines; will she be next Miss Universe?
Rebecca Rath arrived in Manila, Philippines earlier this week and has been busy already. Since landing, she has met the other delegates and attended press interviews as a part of [...]

LOVE FM

GOB Wants Amortization Schedule and Interest Rates Amended in Bonds 2038
A number of bills went through at today’s sitting of the House of Representatives. Today also saw a new Speaker taking over. We will have more on those later in our newscast….Since the announcement by Government to seek approval from bondholders to renegotiate Belize’s Bonds 2038 we have been following the matter closely. Earlier this […]

Parliamentarians Meet in First Session for 2017
The first session of the Sitting of the House of Representatives is underway inside the National Assembly Building. Today’s meeting began with the official swearing in of the first female Speaker of the House under the Barrow administration. Laura Longsworth took her oath this morning with a commitment to carry out her duties fairly, while […]

Oceana Wants Written Confirmation on Cancellation of Sea Seep Survey
Earlier this week we reported on the decision by the Ministry of Economic Development and Petroleum to cancel the consultations in regards to the Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey. Today we received word that the entire project has been cancelled. That confirmation was verbally relayed to Oceana’s Vice President, Janelle Chanona by CEO Yvonne […]

7th Murder Recorded for 2017
The seventh murder of 2017 was recorded after the body of Salvadoran national, 62-year-old Salvador Rivera Marquez was found yesterday. On Thursday evening, Police visited an area by the seaside near mile three on the George Price Highway where they saw Marquez’ body with multiple apparent chop wounds to the head and a cut wound […]

BPP Says Integrity Commission Is a Smokescreen
The Belize Progressive Party says it takes issue with comments made by the newly sworn in Chair of the Integrity Commission. The BPP says it is clear that the Integrity Commission is quote “a smokescreen by which to further perpetuate the intentional dysfunction that is fundamental to the PUDP system.” End of quote. The BPP […]

Imported Ham Confiscated and Buried
It was about seven weeks ago that we brought you the story of imported hams sitting at the Benque Free Zone in western Belize. There were some red flags noted with this importation of greens, meaning, that the product was unprocessed. Today, the over fifty thousand pounds of meat were taken from the Free Zone […]

Belize’s Concern Over Trump and the US
Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have agreed to join forces and seek support from Mexico to forge a joint strategy in response to Donald Trump winning the U.S. presidency. According to Reuters, Trump’s election upset has sent shockwaves through Mexico and Central America, which rely heavily on U.S. remittances and bilateral trade. Many of the migrants […]

Housing Issues for Belary and Her Family
In August 2016, Hurricane Earl, a category one storm made landfall in Belize. The stormed caused millions of dollars in damages and thousands of families were affected. The National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO conducted an assessment to help needy families. Since the hurricane, Edmund Castro, the Minister responsible for NEMO has been handing over houses […]


Re: Today's Belize News: January 14, 2017 [Re: Marty] #520889
01/14/17 01:04 AM
01/14/17 01:04 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,254
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

Amandala

Sex videos “gone viral” on social media
Videos of four young Belizean females, ages unknown, have gone viral on social media since the start of the New Year, but it wasn’t for their academic excellence or even their athletic achievements. Instead, the females, apparently minors, were filmed as they engaged in casual sexual intercourse. In one video, an apparently inebriated female and a popular Belize City bus driver were filmed on board a bus in broad daylight in a 2-minute video as they moved to R. Kelly’s 2005 single, “Wine for Me.” In another video, which was 2 minutes and 30 seconds long, a group of men took turns as they had sex with another young woman who, we were told, suffers from mental health challenges. She could be heard telling the men that she was tired and that she wanted to go home. The video showed that she pushed one of the men as she got up from the bed and tried to leave.

Belize government has to pay, says lead US attorney
As we reported in our mid-week edition, the Government of Belize has lost three petitions filed in the US Supreme Court in an attempt to fight off the enforcement of arbitral awards handed down back in 2009 in disputes with foreign investors over agreements they had with the Government of Belize. Two of those awards together totaled US$50 million (or BZ$100 million) at the time of Monday’s ruling by the highest court in the US jurisdiction. The Government of Belize issued an official statement today saying, “The cases upheld arbitration awards against Belize procured by NEWCO, Belize Social Development Limited (BSDL) and BCB Holdings Limited. BSDL and BCB are [Michael] Ashcroft companies, and the arbitration awards they received were for the People’s United Party Accommodation Agreement given to BSDL, and the PUP Settlement Deed given to BCB. Those awards are unenforceable in Belize since its highest court, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), has ruled that the PUP agreements on which they are based are scandalous, outrageous and utterly illegal.”

Hispanic man murdered on the seaside by the garbage dump
A man of Hispanic descent was found “chopped up” by the seaside behind the garbage dump at about Mile 3 on the George Price Highway. According to an initial police report, the man was found dead with wounds to his head and body at about 5:30 this evening. An investigation has begun, but so far, nothing much is known about the victim except that he usually went to the area to fish. Those who saw him said that he had defensive wounds on his hands, which indicate that he was probably defending himself from his attacker.

“Ministerial influence” ruled Immigration Department
Thirteen current and former UDP Cabinet Ministers had been named in the Auditor General’s Special Report into the Passport, Visa and Nationality Departments for the period 2011-2013. Today, Wednesday, former Immigration Director, Maria Marin, confirmed to the Senate Select Committee that these Ministers had regularly recommended persons for immigration documents, even in many instances where the applications were incomplete. She explained that when she became “commander-in-chief” of the Immigration Department, there was a culture of irregularities that she tried to change. Almost 90 per cent of incomplete applications were returned to applicants and a list of Ministers constantly recommending persons had been compiled by her. When Business Senator Markhelm Jude Lizarraga asked what was done with that list, she told him that it was submitted to Minister Godwin Hulse and then Immigration CEO Candelaria Saldivar. Senator Lizarraga asked, “What was the result of that list?” “Shortly thereafter we saw the number of recommendations decreasing,” she explained.

PM was reckless with the people’s funds, said Hon. Kareem Musa
In the wake of three United States Supreme Court arbitration awards against the Government of Belize totaling over US 50 million dollars, the government of Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow issued a press release yesterday with a bold caption, saying, “The Government of Belize will not pay for PUP corruption.” In the US Supreme Court decision, the arbitration award includes payouts for botched deals with Newco, the Belize Healthcare Partners Limited, and the Belize Bank, as well as the BTL Accommodation Agreement and BTL Settlement Agreement. This afternoon, Amandala asked the Opposition People’s United Party area representative for Caribbean Shores, Hon. Kareem Musa, to comment on the government’s position regarding the court decision. Hon. Musa said that no media house in Belize has properly reported on this lawsuit. “But my understanding is that it has to do with the accommodation agreement and it has to do with Newco (the company that was supposed to expand the Philip Goldson International Airport.),” he noted.

Belize born Rakeem among Kansas City Chiefs to play in Sunday’s NFL playoffs
American-football fans will be focusing on the NFL playoffs this weekend, and one Belize-Dangriga born player, Rakeem Nunez-Roches will be among the Kansas City Chiefs that clash on Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. According to Wikipedia, “Rakeem Nathan Nunez-Roches, is a Belizean, professional American football nose tackle for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Chiefs in the sixth round of the 2015 NFL Draft.” The picture above (from Evan X Hyde’s files) was partly damaged, but we salvaged the portion showing (at the MCC Grounds, with the Belikin and Guinness pavilions in the background) some Milpros players, including Raul Roches. Mervin “Rugged” Flores of Dangriga noted that Rakeem is “the first Grigalezan Belizean American to play in the NFL in the United States of America…” and he is “also a starter right now on his team.”

Secondary school football kicks off on Monday in Dangriga
Secondary school football for the Dangriga Zone will kick off next week Monday, January 16, at the Carl Ramos Stadium. Three (3) schools will take part – ANRI, Delille Academy and Ecumenical. ANRI doesn’t have a female (F) team, so Ecumenical and Dellile Academy females will play a 5-game series. For the males (M), it will be a double-elimination. Games for next week are as follows: Monday, January 16 2:30 p.m. – (F-Game 1) Delille Academy vs Ecumenical 3:30 p.m. – (M) Delille Academy vs ANRI

Belmopan 1st Division Football quarterfinals end; semifinals this weekend
I am pleased to once again share with you the results of the games held over the weekend in the Belmopan Football Association (BFA) First Division Tournament. Here are the results of the return legs (game 2) of the Quarterfinals, played on Saturday and Sunday, January 7 & 8, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium. In the opener on Saturday, Salvapan Juventus dropped Cotton Tree, 2-0, with goals from Bertan Bermudez (22’) and Scott Casey (62’). Aggregate score: 5-3 in favor of Salvapan Juventus. The nightcap saw Capital United with the 3-2 win over Wingz FC. Johnny Cardenas struck twice (22’ & 59’) and Michael Lewis (68’) got the other for Capital United; while Wingz FC got a goal apiece from Rudy Daniel Padilla (20’) and Stuart Jenkins (39’). Aggregate score: 8-4 in favor of Capital United.

Belize Jaguars to Panama for Copa Centroamericana
Leaving Belize from the Philip Goldson International Airport shortly after noon yesterday was Belize’s National “A” Team, our Belize Jaguars, who will be in Panama for the next week and a half, where they will be playing a total of five games against other Central American national teams in the Copa Centroamericana 2017 tournament. The tournament is a qualifier for the CONCACAF Gold Cup later this year. New Belize head coach Richard Orlowski of Poland expressed optimism about the team’s chances of qualifying to the Gold Cup, but many fans at home are guarded in their expectations, since the team has not benefited from any tough international friendlies. On the plus side, though, the players displayed a very positive spirit, seem very pleased with the treatment they have received from the FFB, and are embracing the challenge to push the boundaries of Belize’s achievement on the international stage.

Of Greeks and gifts
The Belize Prime Minister who saw through Lord Michael Ashcroft, so to speak, or did not play his game, in other words, was Dr. Manuel Esquivel, and he was not an attorney. After Dr. Esquivel, our next two Prime Ministers, Rt. Hon. Said Musa and Rt.. Hon. Dean Barrow, have both been eminent attorneys. The record of all the contracts, agreements, settlements, and litigations involving the Government of Belize, on the one hand, and various Ashcroft companies and groups of companies, on the other hand, shows that the people of Belize have been the losers during the Musa and Barrow governments. Lord Ashcroft continues to win hundreds and hundreds of millions of US dollar awards in various courts, and yet he remains in good standing in Belize: he has never been declared a persona non grata. Attorneys never really lose cases, you know. It is their clients who lose. The attorneys always collect their fees. Over these Musa and Barrow years, the people of Belize have always been the losers in disputes with Lord Ashcroft. Overall, Belize owes billions of dollars because of loans and litigations during the Musa and Barrow administrations. Lord Ashcroft has ended up with a lot of that money, Belize has become the poorer of it, and yet there is no outcry against the good Lord in Belize. What we have, instead, is the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) hurling charges at each other. Someone must be blamed for Belize’s serious financial crisis, because the people of Belize are angry. The UDP and the PUP are blaming each other: their politically-affiliated attorneys, meanwhile, have laughed all the way to the bank, as it is said. It’s nice work if you can get it.

From The Publisher
I like to listen to Captain Nicholas Sanchez when he speaks on the radio. Actually, I think he is a distant relative of mine, through the Gibson connection. I may have met him, but we have never held a real conversation. Captain Sanchez is a Belizean who migrated to Canada when he was a young man in the 1950s and spent most of his adult life there. He has been doing tourist tours in Belize for quite a few years now; he has a reliable knowledge of the architecture, historical sites, and colonial realities of the old British Honduras which is fascinating. The man is a treasure trove of information about British Honduras/Belize. Captain Sanchez called in on Mose’s talk show on Tuesday morning this week to complain about the use of the word “diaspora” to refer to the Belizean population which has migrated abroad. In this opinion, the host of the show agreed with him, but I would like to say to them both, when you find a word you like better than “diaspora” to describe migrant Belizeans, tell me about it.

Chunox High School and ANRI study Marine Ecology and Climate Change Adaptation
Editor Sir, Last September 2016, a team of officers from Ecology Project International (EPI) Belize program, Marine Conservation and Climate Adaptation Project (MCCAP), Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) and Turneffe Atoll Sustainable Association (TASA) visited Chunox St. Viator Vocational High School, to inform our student body about marine conservation and climate change, and their organizations’ work to inform the public and involve youths in their climate change campaign. Part of this campaign, they explained, would be to have five-day marine ecology and climate change training courses later in order to raise awareness and show ways to deal with the impacts. These courses would be offered at the Turneffe Atoll. Our school was one of those selected by MCCAP. For this course, the students that were chosen from our school, along with students from ANRI (Agriculture and Natural Resource Institute), would be based at the (UB) University of Belize Marine Station at Calabash Caye. I felt very lucky to be one of the students chosen to take part in this course.

National Indigenous Congress announces a parallel indigenous government
On the 23rd anniversary of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN)’s uprising and after three months of community consultations, the National Indigenous Congress (CNI) announced that they have been directed by the base to create an autonomous and parallel government throughout Mexico. This Indigenous Governing Council will have as its spokesperson an Indigenous woman and in the 2018 elections she will be their candidate for the presidency of Mexico. “This is the time of the Originary Peoples, the time for us to replant and rebuild ourselves. It is time to go on the offensive and this is the agreement that we have laid out for how to do so, from our perspective as individuals, as communities, as Originary Peoples, and as the National Indigenous Congress. It is time for dignity to govern this country, this world and for democracy, liberty, and justice to flourish in its step,” stated a joint CNI and EZLN communique (enlacezapatista.ezln.org.mx).

Retail prices shoot up by $15 for LPG
Belizean consumers, who have been paying between $80 and $90 for a 100-pound tank of cooking fuel, are being hit with an increase of roughly $15, based on latest information released in an announcement from the Government of Belize. New controlled prices for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), used primarily for cooking as well as to power gas-fueled dryers in households, are in effect as of today, Wednesday, January 11, 2017, according to information released from the Supplies Control Unit in the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Commerce. The new price list reflects two changes: the first being a change in the mixture of LPG which is to be sold on the market and the second being the price, based on the cost to import the propane-butane mixture.

Central Zone high school football results, schedule
The Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) 2016-2017 Football Tournament is under way at the MCC Grounds with female (F) and male (M) games being played daily this week. On Monday, (F) SCA won, 1-0, over Ladyville Technical, with a goal from Charlize Hunter. And (M) SJC dropped Ladyville Tech, 2-1, with goals from Dion Cacho and Luiz Orozco; while Kenroy Allen scored for Ladyville Tech. In the opener on Tuesday, (F) Gwen Liz clipped Wesley, 1-0, with a goal from Essenie Ciego. And (M) Sadie Vernon bombed Belize High School, 5-0, with 2 goals from Raheem Augustine and 1 each from Stephan Bowen, Mickhi Gill and Rjay Martinez. Yesterday, Wednesday, (F) Maude Williams won by default (3-0) over Pallotti. And (M) Wesley crushed Excelsior, 5-0, with 2 goals from Jalen Babb and 1 apiece from Kenyon Lewis, Kermint Sutherland and Shakeem Richards.

The Reporter

Happening now: First House Meeting for 2017; New Speaker takes oath
Retured nurse, Laura Longsworth has been sworn in as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives. Longsworth was sworn in an hour ago during the first House meeting for 2017. She promised to insist that the manner in which the Members carry themselves is […]

BelizeCity Council gets $1 Million Black-topper
The Belize City Council has acquired a $1 Million ETNYRE Black-topper asphalt distributor truck, which can spray hot tar onto the road way to help pave the city streets using the chip and seal method. The truck is part of the Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Improvement Project funded by the Inter-American […]

Public consultations on multi beam survey cancelled, no clarification on why
The public consultation on the Marine Multibeam and Sea Seep Survey have been cancelled. On Tuesday January 10, a press release issue by the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment and Trade confirmed that the consultation that were scheduled to be held at the Radisson Hotel […]

Integrity Commission sworn in
Keeping with the promise for good governance reforms, the Government of Belize, this week swore in the members of the Integrity Commission. The seven-member commission, established in accordance with Section 5 of the First Schedule of the Prevention of Corruption Act, #21 of 2007 that a new […]

Pakeman charged nine months after fatal traffic accident
Dorian Pakeman, 35, the Government’s Press Director who was placed on unpaid suspension after he knocked down and killed Dean Dawson, a mechanic from Biscayne village, was charged this week – nine months after the incident. Pakeman was arraigned on Tuesday before Senior Magistrate Sharon […]

Motorist hit by car, burns with bike
A traffic accident near mile nine on the Philip Goldson highway on Sunday night claimed one life when a motorcycle rider was hit by a reversing vehicle. The motorist, 21-year-old Jamalski Young, was on his way to work heading in the direction of Belize City when […]

Murders up at the end of 2016
Murders in Belize are at a four-year high, according to the latest crime statistics issued by the Belize Police Department. The department issued its crimes comparative statistics on Wednesday, showing that there were a total of 138 murders in 2016; a 15 percent increase from the 119 […]

Belize Territorial volunteer to stage protest against government amendment to the referendum act
The Belize Territorial Volunteers ( BTV) and its political allies will be staging a demonstration at the National Assembly building in Belmopan, on Friday January 13, 2017. In a press release issued on Wednesday the BTV stated that the demonstration became necessary as a way of […]

Canadian Tourist responds to Belize’s emergency call for ambulance
A Canadian tourist from Edmonton Alberta Canada who have visited Belize numerous times for volunteer work, have responded to Belize’s call for additional Ambulance service. Roman Bayrock , a healthcare provider that treats neuromuscular disease recently bought a 1996 decommissioned ambulance and fixed it up so […]

“Sexual education will guide youths to better choices,” says BFLA
The Belize Family Life Association (BFLA), this week, emphasized that Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE), is what Belize needs to address the rising level or risky sexual behavior among Belizean youths. Responding to recent statistics showing alarmingly low condom use, high incidents of promiscuity, and the recent slew […]

Ain’t gonna pay! Prime Minister vows over Ashcroft claims
The United States Supreme Court has slapped the Government of Belize with $117 million worth of arbitration award costs owed to the Ashcroft Alliance, but GOB says it won’t pay a dime of it. On Monday, the United State’s Supreme Court, refused to hear GOB’s appeal of […]

Belize Economy looking up! World Bank Says
The World Bank’s Global economic forecast predicts moderate economic growth in 2017. The he World Bank’s January 2017 Global Economic Prospects report released on Tuesday, projected global economic growth at 2,7 percent, citing that obstacles to activity would recede among emerging market and developing economy commodity exporters. […]

13 year old goes missing from Orange Walk Town
A female minor from Orange Walk town has gone missing. Official Reports have indicated that on Tuesday January10, around 7.25 a.m, thirteen year old Ideline Adelia Romero left her home located at #14 Bautista Lane Orange Walk Town en route to classes at La Inmaculada Primary […]

Elderly man chopped to death while fishing off George Price Highway
The decomposing body of an elderly man was found at the seaside off the George Price Highway on Thursday evening. He had apparently been chopped to death while fishing there. The discovery was made in a remote area, forcing police Scenes of Crimes personnel and […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

PUP calls for plan of action in relation to Belize- Guatemala dispute
Today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has introduced a bill to amend the referendum act. In response to this, the opposition People’s United Party (PUP) says that before Belize moves to amend the Referendum Act it must first amend the Maritime Act so that Belize can […]

PM introduces bill to amend referendum act
At today’s Sitting of the House, Prime Minister Dean Barrow introduced a bill to amend the Referendum Act; as the referendum threshold currently stands at 60 percent of votes cast. The amendment seeks to make the required threshold a simple majority of votes cast […]

Join the 1st Chiquibul Challenge Marathon
The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic is hosting the first ever Chiquibul Challenge Marathon, to be held on March 12. The challenge will feature activities including: Running or walking a half marathon (20km), or going the full distance (40km) in one of the most beautiful […]

Chon Saan Palace in Belmopan not a finalized deal says PM Barrow
At today’s sitting of the house, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that government has not finalized the purchase deal with the owners of Chon Saan Palace in Belmopan. The establishment is owned by the President of the Senate, Lee Mark Chang who is asking […]

Julius Espat to be reinstated in the House of Representatives
At this morning’s Sitting of the House of Representatives, Minister Michael Finnegan rose at the start of the meeting to introduce a motion to have the area representative Julius Espat returned to the house. However Deputy Prime Minister, Patrick Faber rose explaining that while […]

Almost $9000 stolen from Chinese shop in Dangriga
According to police reports, 31-year-old Tingju Liu, a Chinese businessman of Family City Shopping Center located at # 1670 Ecumenical Drive, Dangriga reported that on Thursday 29th December 2016 between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., someone broke into his store and stole […]

Sixty-two-year-old Salvadoran national murdered on George Price Highway- update
According to police reports, yesterday around 5:00 p.m., police visited an area near the seaside in the vicinity of mile 3 on the George Price Highway where officers saw the body of 62-year-old Salvadoran national, Salvador Rivera Marquez of Set Site, Belize City with multiple […]

Belize Announces Consent Solicitation
Yesterday in a press release on the Central Bank of Belize website, GOB announced that it is seeking the consent of holders of Belize’s U.S. Dollar Bonds due 2038 to two amendments to the payment terms of this instrument. Belize’s 2038 Bonds currently amortize in […]

Belize consul in Chetumal to be replaced soon
The government of Belize is currently in the process of searching for a new consul to the state of Quintana Roo in Mexico to replace former consul, Jorge Valencia. According to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington the government has made the decision to […]

Sedi says no deal on Sarstoon
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, yesterday, denied reports suggesting that he and Guatemalan Foreign Minister Carlos Raul Morales had made an agreement that the Sarstoon river would be off limits to citizens, especially Belizeans, until after the territorial dispute is resolved at the […]

American tourist dies in Cayo
Reports reaching our newsroom indicate that an American female tourist from Mississippi, USA died at a popular cave tubing site in the Cayo District. According to reports, the woman arrived on a cruise ship on Wednesday and was at the cave tubing site when […]

Blogs

Experience pure adventure with Gilford and Alvis in ‘Caye Boy Visits the Jungle’
Have you ever felt like a tourist in your own country? Well, author Jessica Retseck Wigh totally gave that illusion in her latest book in her Caye Boy series, ‘Caye Boy Visits the Jungle’. The book features Gilford and his little brother Alvis, and their adventures growing up on an island. Gilford and his family live on Caye Caulker island, and being separated by many miles and actual water made exploring Belize City quite exciting. In the book, Gilford and Alvis are so excited to visit Mama’s family on the mainland, taking the trip as a big adventure since they’re used to their little island and blue house. From doing unusual things such as getting their hair brushed to putting on “itchy” clothes, Jessica’s new book shows how the brothers experience culture shock, but adapt very well to the jungle. Author Jessica explained her inspiration behind her latest Caye Boy book. “My husband I have been on the island for over 17 years, and we watched our neighborhood children grow up. We have three children of our own, and the first two books were only about the island experience, and so we wanted to add the mainland experience in the third book. When you live on an island, it is very common that people have families scattered around the country. We wanted the island children from the book to visit their mother’s extended family in the mainland, and have a different kind of fun from what they’re used to,” said Jessica.

What It's Really Like to Vacation in Belize | Vacation in Belize
Reading blogs, marveling at amazing photographs, and seeing immersive videos of travelers in Belize can create a wonderful picture of all of the amazing attractions on offer in the country. But beyond the hype about golden sunshine, balmy temperatures, and mysterious ancient Maya temples, what is it really like to vacation in Belize? With just 360,000 people scattered around a country approximately the same size as Vermont, it’s no surprise that wildlife thrives in Belize. Ranging from friendly manatees and playful dolphins offshore to howling monkeys and some of the last indigenous big cats on the mainland, Belize is one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet. Sure, every country boasts of beaches, including popular tourist hotspots like Florida, but the beaches in Belize are truly spectacular. With more than 200 miles of coastline on the Caribbean, Belize is blessed with uncrowded stretches of pure white sand, to say nothing of the hundreds of offshore islands that are the perfect place to play castaway for a day.

The Beach of Belize at the Laru Beya in Placencia
When traveling to Belize for the first time, I headed to Placencia and checked in to the Laru Beya Hotel. On assignment to explore the new cruise island destination of Harvest Caye, we spent two evenings on the mainland. My first evening, I enjoyed some time on the sands of the beach. A walk on the soft sands among the palm trees was worth the visit and escape from winter weather. Additionally, I enjoyed the infinity pool, especially with a view of the moon in the twilight sky. My first to Belize will not be my last. The small English speaking country in the midst of Central America definitely wet my appetite to explore more of country and also to refocus some of my travel dreams back to new places in the Americas. This trip is exactly why I made a new spot in the Americas my 2017 Bucket List dedication. I have much to see and explore in the “New World” and plan to do a little more this year, especially some of the beaches.

12 Reasons Belize Honeymoons are Trending Big Time!
1. No hassle travel. Who wants to spend those first precious hours holed up in a tourist class airline cabin when you could be making sure the hammock on your resort balcony is big enough for two? It only takes a couple of hours to get to Belize from North America; what’s more romantic than being rested and ready for love? 2. Belizeans can’t wait to welcome you. Fall in love with everyone you meet—not as much as you love your new spouse, of course--but when you emerge from your love nest, people you meet everywhere you go are so warm and friendly, you’ll be posing for selfies with them. 3. Safety first. Belizeans know a thing or two about what it takes to keep honeymooners content and delighted. They deliver on assurances by making certain resort properties and tourist hubs are safe and secure. No nation is totally crime-free, but you can count on Belize to have your back. 4. Size matters. Belize is the same size as the state of Massachusetts which means that you can drive from north to south of the country in less than 5 hours. As a result, you’ll see more of the sites in half the time, so if sitting on a tour bus getting to see sites isn’t on your honeymoon list, just say, Belize please. 5. You couldn’t be bored if you tried. Rainforests, caves, Mayan ruins, more birds than you knew existed, cultural attractions and recreational fun awaits--and there’s shopping to be done, too. By the time you return to your accommodations after your excursions, you’ll be ready for a nap. Or not so much.

Hollywood Stars Vacation in Belize
As one of the hottest vacation destinations in the region, it's no surprise that celebrities are flocking to Belize to enjoy the country's ample sunshine, fabulous weather, delicious food, and pristine nature. Recent appearances by actor James Franco, star of Spring Breakers, Oz the Great, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, by local media Ambergris Today are indicative of the growing popularity of Belize as a vacation destination. James Franco was spotted at the reknowned Tipsy Tuna bar in Placencia in Belize's southeast, taking time out of his busy schedule to snap a few selfies with grateful and adoring fans. Another famous personage who popped into the Tipsy Tuna in the past month was Drew Carey, a well-known comedian and host of the long-running game show "The Price is Right." Carey and Franco were on hand to ring in the New Year in style, enjoying all the fireworks, food, and fun that has made San Pedro and Ambergris Caye such popular vacation destinations. Not to be outdone, the legendary actor Alan Tudyk, star of numerous popular television productions including Newsreaders, Dollhouse, and Young Justice, was seen escaping the snow and cold in America by enjoying time out on the water in Belize. Tudyk was spotted heading out to the Belize Barrier Reef where he had plans to dive the Belize Blue Hole, rated as a top 10 dive spot by the celebrated French marine biologist Jacques Cousteau. Tudyk paused long enough to make a number of fans happy as they eagerly snapped selfies with the star.

5 Romantic Belize Resorts That Are Perfect Escapes For Valentine’s Day
Looking for the perfect place to stay over Valentine’s Day Weekend in Belize that offers luxury, affordability and romance all rolled into one? Check into one of these high-end Belize resorts and take advantage of special offers just for couples. Belize is an amazing Valentine's destination thanks to its lush natural beauty, delightfully balmy temperatures, and the many exciting adventure options available for visitors. Belize is just a short flight from the United States and is the only country in the region where English is the official language. Below are the 5 most recommended romantic resorts in the country:

What's New in Belize for 2017
2016 was a banner year for Belize, and travel experts expect only more positive developments in 2017. With progressive improvement in total visitor volume year over year, Belize is rapidly becoming one of the top vacation destinations in the region. A few key developments in tourism in Belize include: In October 2016, the prominent Canadian airline WestJet began operating non-stop flights between Toronto's Pearson Airport (YYZ) to Belize City (BZE). This marked the very first time that Canadians could travel directly to Belize. Lonely Planet, the world's number one publisher of travel guides by volume, declared that Belize was a Top 10 destination for budget-conscious travelers. Belize was the only country in Central or South America that made the top 10 list.

International Sourcesizz

Caribbean nationals assume key positions at OAS
Caribbean nationals have taken over key positions within the Organization of American States (OAS) including chairing the hemispheric body’s Permanent Council. Belize Permanent Representative to the OAS, Patrick Andrews, Thursday assumed the chair of the Council. “It is undeniably an incredible opportunity for each Member State that assumes the chairmanship to leave his or her mark in elevating the institution’s history and in contributing to its betterment and that of our hemisphere and all our countries,” said Andrews, adding that climate change and sustainable development will occupy a prominent place in the Permanent Council’s work agenda. The outgoing chair of the Council and Permanent Representative of Barbados, Selwin Charles Hart, thanked the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro, and his colleagues in the Council for the support received during his term.

Belize tries to change superbond schedule
Belize has launched a consent solicitation in an effort to amend the amortization schedule and lower coupon payments on its 2038 bond. The Central American country wants to cut the interest rate on its so-called superbond to 4% per annum starting February 20 until maturity. The bond currently pays 5% annually, with a step up to 6.767% starting August 20. It also wants to adjust timing of principal payments from the current 38 semi-annual installments starting in 2019 to three equal amortizations on February 20 of 2036, 2037 and 2038. "The two amendments ... are, we believe, the mildest adjustments to the terms of the bonds that will still achieve the objective of putting the bonds on a fully sustainable basis," Belize Finance Secretary Joseph Waight. In return, the sovereign is offering holders a consent fee of 0.25% of the face value. The consent solicitation expires on January 26. Citigroup is acting as agent on the transaction.

La Niña’s Days Are Numbered
So long, La Niña. In its latest monthly advisory, issued Thursday, NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center all but sounded the death knell for the 2016-17 La Niña. Sea surface temperatures in the benchmark Niño3.4 region have remained in the weak range for La Niña (0.5°C to 1.0°C below the seasonal average), and the subsurface cold relative to average across the equatorial Pacific has almost completely vanished. In a new ENSO Blog entry, NOAA/CPC’s Emily Becker reviews global weather conditions and how they’ve stacked up against La Niña expectations (fairly well, especially for temperature). Models are close to unanimous in bringing the Niño3.4 region into the neutral range over the next couple of months. There are some model indications of a weak El Niño kicking in by summer 2017. That wouldn’t shock me, given the continued predominance of a positive Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Positive PDOs are associated with a higher frequency of El Niño events, and the PDO has now been in positive territory in each month from January 2014 through December 2016—the first time this has happened across three consecutive calendar years in records that go back to 1900. Even so, NOAA’s Emily Becker isn’t ready to predict a 2017-18 El Niño: “A three-year series of El Niño/La Niña/El Niño has only happened once since 1950, in 1963/1964/1965. This doesn’t make it impossible that El Niño could develop, but it means that we aren’t counting on it.”

Belice le arruina la fiesta al anfitrión Panamá y le saca un empate sin goles
Belice viajó a la Copa Centroamericana con la encomienda de hacer un buen papel, aunque no se esperaba demasiado de la selección más débil del torneo, pero por lo pronto le empató sin goles al local en el debut de ambos en el torneo. Y es que a pesar de la insistencia de Panamá a lo largo de los 90 minutos, no tuvo la pegada suficiente para vencer a una férrea defensa visitante que obtuvo una igualada de mérito. El conjunto canalero tuvo las mejores oportunidades a lo largo del encuentro, pero se mostró chato y sin ideas a la hora de definir. Gente como Aníbal Godoy o Rolando Blackburn no pudieron vulnerar el arco de Woodrow West por más que insistieron.

Belize Urges 11th Circ. To Toss $22M Telecom Contract Suit
Law360, Miami (January 13, 2017, 10:33 PM EST) -- The government of Belize urged the Eleventh Circuit on Friday to dismiss a claim it owes a company more than $22 million for leased telecommunications equipment, saying a lower court failed to properly consider Belizean law and wrongly found that it waived sovereign immunity. The Central American nation seeks to escape contract clauses that waive its immunity and agree to litigate in U.S. courts, contending that its budget minister lacked authority to enter into the deal with plaintiff GDG Acquisitions LLC, so the agreement is void...

Nelson Institute grant supports Drake service projects in Belize
A new grant will help Drake University enhance current and future projects in Southern Belize. The Global Pressing Issues Grant, funded by Drake’s Rolland and Mary Nelson Institute for Diplomacy and International Affairs, will help Drake students and faculty to collaborate across a number of diverse programs Drake offers in the Toledo District of Southern Belize. A team of faculty members will implement new practices to assess the benefits of these service projects and weigh the benefits against project costs, such as the local resources required to help facilitate the work. “Service-learning projects can provide very high-quality educational opportunities for our students, and we have a great deal of expertise that we can bring to bear on maximizing the value of those opportunities,” said Professor David Skidmore, chair of the Nelson Institute and the Principal Center for Global Citizenship. “We have always approached new project partners with a commitment to equity and mutual benefit. This grant will allow our faculty to identify and implement new ways to ensure that we are maximizing benefits to our partners abroad.”

Top fisheries data expert from Iceland shares expertise with CRFM countries
Through the long-standing partnership between the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) and the United Nations University Fisheries Technical Programme (UNU-FTP) in Iceland, the university has deployed one of Iceland’s top fisheries data experts to the CRFM Secretariat for a short site-based assignment, to provide operational support and guidance at the country level for improving the management and usage of fisheries data systems. The visiting expert is Dr Einar Hjörleifsson, who has been working at the Marine Research Institute, Iceland, since 1996. Hjörleifsson’s primary role has been data analysis and stock assessment. Over the same time, he has been working at the UNU-FTP in a role as a teacher and student supervisor. During his visit to the Caribbean, Hjörleifsson will be working under the guidance of CRFM’s deputy executive director, Dr Susan Singh-Renton. Singh-Renton emphasized that “Dr Hjörleifsson’s present assignment with the CRFM is intended to allow him to give special ‘on-the-ground’ attention to all aspects of the fisheries data systems in two CRFM countries that have made reasonable investments both for the present and the future of their data systems. Hence, the assignment is expected to build further on such investments.”

UND parasite researchers do big work in disease, ecology studies
UND professor Vasyl Tkach can appreciate a good tapeworm. "They want you to have happy lives," said Tkach, using a set of forceps to prod at a mass of preserved white worms in a petri dish. His colleague, UND professor Jefferson Vaughan, can summarize the motivation of the common parasite in brief. "They don't want to kill you," said Vaughan. "They just want your nutrients." Indiana Jones was more fixated by snakes than tapeworms, but he might have appreciated the scope of the work being done by parasitologists such as Tkach and Vaughan. In separate upcoming studies, both men are focusing their efforts on a parasite of small size and massive impact—a set of microscopic organisms which cause malaria. Tkach is going to Brazil primarily to study strains of malaria and other diseases found in rainforest birds, a group of animals which increasingly come into contact with expanding human settlements. Vaughan just received word that the National Institutes of Health approved nearly $140,000 in funding for his study aimed at putting a nail through the heart of mosquito-borne malaria in the Central American nation of Belize.

Videos

  • H.E. Patrick Andrews assumes Chairmanship of OAS, 1min. Yesterday the Permanent Representative of Belize to the Organization of American States (OAS), H.E. Patrick Andrews assumed the Chairmanship of the Permanent Council of that hemispheric institution.

  • Justin & Maya Caye Caulker Belize Wedding Video, 5.5min. Destination wedding in Caye Caulker, Belize. By Jose Luis Zapata

  • RUTA MAYA 2011,BELIZE, 3min. Ruta Maya from San Ignacio Town to Belize City

  • Our Honeymoon at Coco Plum Island Resort in Belize 2016!, 16min. We had an amazing time at this resort. You must go sometime! The place is incredibly beautiful and the people that work there are amazing. We can't wait to go back.

  • KCB - Lamanai Ruins in Belize, 61min.

  • Mahler Baked Rice (Grace & You), 15min.

  • Mindfulness Techniques for fulfilling life Experiences, 40min.

  • Entangle Techniques (Primary & Secondary Art Skills Training Project - PSAST), min.

  • PM Barrow Breaks Down PUP Legacy Cases, 27min. During today's Meeting of the House of Representatives, Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow spoke in depth about the recent court judgments involving NEWCO, Belize Social Development Limited and BCB Holdings Limited.

  • Belize Trip 2016 -GoPro, 16min.

  • Central America: Belize, Guatamala & Mexico Backpacking Adventure, 5min.

  • Walking Around San Pedro, Belize (2/3) December 2016, 10min.

  • International Film Festival Belize, 8min.

  • Fly fishing in Belize, 6min.

  • Belize Vacation, 5min.

  • Patrick Rogers of the BPP Speaks On Guatemala Issue, 4min.

  • FILM FINANCING PANEL - Belize Int'l Film Festival - Nov 11, 2016, 57min. Moderator: Brent Toombs (Oxa Productions) Panelists (L-R): Tim Cruz (Guerilla Hollywood), Christ Pack (World of Wonder, Island Hunters) Eckehardt Von Damm (Corazon Films), Cristina Venegas (University of Santa Barbara)

  • Amazilia tzacatl, 1min.


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