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#520980 - 01/18/17 01:04 AM Today's Belize News: January 18, 2017  
Joined: Oct 1999
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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

Rebecca Rath arrives in the Philippines to represent Belize in Miss Universe 2017
After winning the Miss Belize Universe pageant in September 2016, the lovely Rebecca Rath finally landed in Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, January 11th, where she will compete in the 65th edition of the Miss Universe pageant. Rath had previously departed Belize on January 3, 2017 to the United States, where she trained and met several media groups. The pageant will be held on January 30, 2017 at the Mall of Asia Arena. Rath, along with 85 other contestants, has been preparing arduously for the grand event. With millions of viewers expected to watch the pageant, Rath’s poise, intelligence, and beautiful personality has been growing in popularity both locally and internationally. Rath gained even more recognition after a professional pageantry website, Missosology.info, recently offered an in depth assessment of the Miss Universe contestants. The site ranked Rath 18th, predicting that she would make it within the Top 25.

Karissa Vasquez is elected new president of Children’s Advisory Board
In an effort to make La Isla Bonita a more Child Friendly community, the Children’s Advisory Body (CAB) of San Pedro held a meeting on Wednesday, January 11th. Gathered at the San Pedro Town Council’s (SPTC) Conference Room, the meeting concluded with Karissa Vasquez, Form One student of San Pedro High School (SPHS), being elected as the new president of CAB. Replacing outgoing CAB president and SPHS Form Four student, Lester Gamez, Vasquez is excited to become the new voice of the youth. Vasquez explained how she became interested in joining CAB. “I was honored and surprised to have been nominated and elected as CAB’s new president. Even though I didn’t think I would win, I was still confident enough in myself that I am able to do the job. I’ve always been interested in anything that could have a positive impact for students, so I decided to participate in CAB. I was a member of CAB since I attended New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist School. And as president, I want to make sure I make a difference in San Pedro,” said Vasquez.

Development leader of Puerto Azul involved in major Ponzi Scheme
Puerto Azul, the proposed multi-million dollar tourism development within the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, has turned out to be nothing more than a ponzi scheme. On Tuesday, January 17th, media houses from Switzerland reported that Domenico Giannini, the man behind Puerto Azul, and Fabio La Rosa, had been arrested by financial police. According to reports, both men have extorted money from over 200 private investors under the name of the luxury development, Puerto Azul. The arrest warrant was issued by the financiers of the Provincial Command of Varese against seven persons. Five were sent to prison while two remained under house arrest. Both Giannini and La Rosa were among those sent to prison. During the arrest, officers also confiscated over 18 million Euros in assets (26 properties, 27 land shares of 10 companies, 6 cars and 18 bank accounts). Over 20 searches were performed between the accused parties’ offices in Italy and Switzerland.

Solicitor General to sue Vega and Pitts for failing to repay $800,000 in land compensation
On December 28, 2016, the Office of the Solicitor General filed a claim in the Belize Supreme Court against Andre Vega, the son of former Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, and Attorney at Law Sharon Pitts, after giving them 30 days to refund $800,000 to the Government of Belize (GOB). This suit is the result of a controversial land transaction deal, wherein Vega and Pitts obtained the land title for a privately owned property located at Mile 5 near the Haulover Bridge in the Belize District. The property, which is owned by Miguel Valencia, was first parceled between Pitts and Hilmar Alamilla in 2011. Alamilla, Gaspar Vega’s campaign manager at the time, quickly sold his piece of land to Andre Vega for $15,000, while Pitts obtained permission to survey 1.5 acres at the same location for $10,569.

San Pedro Police celebrate at staff appreciation party
The 10th annual San Pedro Police Staff Appreciation party was held on Saturday, January 14th at the San Pedro Lions Den. From 7PM, police officers, family, friends and invited guests were treated to a spectacular event honouring their tireless hard work in the community. As per tradition, the party consisted of a dinner, music, raffles and prize giveaways, as well as an award ceremony for outstanding officers throughout the year. Welcoming everyone to the night’s event was Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott. Jemmott has been attached to the San Pedro Police Department for over two years now, and is pleased to see the progress the police have made in strengthening their relationship with the community. He remarked on how the Staff Appreciation party is a testament to the police’s relationship with the community, as the event is made possible only through the support of the community. During his short speech he thanked everyone who was in attendance and encouraged his officers to continue working towards keeping the island safe for all residents and visitors.

Ambergris Today

Does Miss Belize Universe Rebecca Rath Have a Famous Look-alike?
Miss Belize Universe, Rebecca Rath, is turning heads in Manila, Philippines, as preliminary activities and competitions leading to the Miss Universe Pageant on Monday, January 30, 2017. She is dutifully representing our country as she garners much attention of the media, has a strong presence on social media posts and is on top of the polls and reviews for the Miss Universe Pageant. After the official Miss Universe Instagram account published a picture of Rebecca during a photo shoot, the comments starting popping up about Miss Belize’s remarkable resemblance to Miss Universe 2014, Miss Colombia, Paulina Vega. With the post collecting close to 14,000 likes, the positive comments for Miss Belize Universe started rolling in with emphasis on her physical similarites to the former Miss Universe.

Tropic Air Commences Service to Chetumal, Mexico
On January 16, 2017, Tropic Air inaugurated non-stop service between Belize City International Airport (BZE) and Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico (CTM). Chetumal becomes Tropic's third destination in Mexico and its sixth international route overall. Tropic will fly to Chetumal three times weekly (Monday, Wednesday and Friday), with a schedule that is convenient for business and tourism travel to the city. In addition, the early arrival into Chetumal will allow for fast, convenient connections to/from InterJet flights to Mexico City and beyond. In April, the frequency is planned to increase to five times a week. “We have been working closely with our partners in Chetumal for a few years in order to finally make this service a reality. We are excited to be the first international airline serving Chetumal and to becoming part of the community!" said John Greif III, President of Tropic Air.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Corozal People's Coalition Committee
As a result of the recent crime wave adversely affecting the Corozal District, the Corozal Police Formation is reaching out to the community for the formation of "The People's Coalition Committee". The People's Coalition is a new committee that will be comprised of Law Abiding Citizens from every walks of life and profession to assist the Corozal Police Formation with capacity building measures. The Corozal Police Formation reiterates its Mission to guard and protect its citizens in order to make Corozal Town a safe haven. Its Motto is to "Serve the People". The way the People's Coalition intends to execute its mission is to work along with the Police Department and the community of Corozal to deter criminals from being involved in crimes. The Corozal Police Formation states that the People's Coalition Committee will seek to work along with the Police Department and community of Corozal Town to set up strategies in place to better safeguard our Judicial District.

Belize Fishing Report, January 1st – 7th, 2017
2017 started off easy with the Christmas rush in the rear-view mirror. The town had a fun fireworks display and the fish don’t seem to care that it is 2017 – they are still challenging us as they did in 2016. I hope 2017 is another year or the first year that you come to visit El Pescador.

Swimsuit competition at the Miss Universe Pageant
On the runway at the swimsuit fashion show in Cebu!

Multi-Destination Regional Tourism Workshop
The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation (MTCA) have joined forces to encourage active participation and support of the public and private sector to promote the regional integration of Central American tourism industries by offering the "Multi-Destination Regional Tourism Workshop" which is part of the marketing campaign: "Centroamerica, es tuya, disfrútala" "Central America, Is yours, Enjoy it." We cordially extend an invitation for your entity to register and participate in this workshop that is designed to provide great returns to your company in the near future.

January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month!
As such, Dr. D's Clinic would like to remind women about the importance of getting regular Pap Smears to help prevent up to 90% of cervical Cancer. This is why Dr. D's Clinic WILL BE HAVING a FEMALE DOCTOR on Saturday 21st, offering pap smear exams, at a one time promotional price. By Appointment Only!!!. Please feel free to call in for appointment or queries.

Fisheries Department loses one of its pillars
We are at a loss of words to express this great loss. Isaias Majil, We are endlessly grateful for your valuable contribution to fisheries management in Belize through countless marine programs and initiatives. We will miss you tremendously at the Belize Fisheries Department. You were so much more than a colleague, you were a friend and a brother. We will work to keep your legacy alive, we will cherish the memories and we will remember you always. Rest in Peace Majo.

Rest in Peace Isaias "Nata" Majil. and rise in glory. Gone too soon!
You fought a tough battle and you reached the end of the road. Your passion to work hard and diligently in order to ensure the protection of the communities we live in, and especially our marine ecosystem, will never go unnoticed or forgotten. You worked tirelessly to guard and care for each of our protected areas. We will miss our chit chats about the safe guarding of our environment and natural resources. Lucky you said of how we live in such a paradise but fearing every day, those who come to selfishly exploit them for gain. We will always be grateful for your contribution to our Belizean society and our communities. You talked the talk and walked the walk. We join the communities of Corozal and San Pedro, Ambergris Caye in extending our deepest condolences and regrets to the entire Majil and Acosta families, in this time of great sorrow.

The Corozal Rotary has our 3rd. Annual Cheap Sale scheduled February 24th at The Civic Center
Support a great cause for your community - Friends of Corozal Rotary - We need your help! The Corozal Rotary has our 3rd. Annual Cheap Sale scheduled February 24th at The Civic Center. Rotary uses the proceeds to support our on-going projects such as Scholarships to help students who need assistance to continue their education from first form through fourth form, delivery of donated computers to primary schools, delivery of donated wheelchairs to people in need, providing playground and park structures. Our major project for 2017 is water-less toilet facilities with hand-washing stations to ensure a sanitary environment for children. Our first site will be Concepcion Elementary school. To make our Sale a success we need your assistance. Would you and your employees please check your homes and work-place for items that are clean and in working order that you would be willing to donate.

Corozal ART IN THE PARK
First 2017 Edition of Art in the Park to be held this Saturday, January 21st, 2017 at the Corozal Central Park!

Literacy for Progress Launch
The Belmopan Active Youths are launching their Literacy for Progress project tomorrow in at the Maya Mopan Resource Center in Belmopan.. This project should benefit around 150 people. Thanks BAY, and thanks, British High Commission! "The Belmopan Active Youths in collaboration with the British High Commission will be launching their new project called 'Literacy for Progress: Bridging the Gap' at the Maya Mopan Resource Center on January 18, 2017 starting 1:30 p.m."

Channel 7

Superbond Setback: Bondholders Reject Belize Offer
And while that is a black eye for Belize tonight, there's another blow which made a direct hit. That one came this morning from New York and Boston where the committee representing holders of the Superbond rejected the offer made by Belize 5 days ago. As we told you that offer was to cut the interest rate on the Superbond from 6.75% to 4%, and to soften the bullet payments by deferring principal payments. Well, a release from the Committee today says, quote, "its members have reviewed and decided to decline the consent solicitation...launched by the Government of Belize on January 12, 2017." It goes unto say "the proposed amendments to the terms and conditions of the Bonds...would crystalize a further reduction in the net present value of the Bonds in excess of 40%, in addition to a cumulative reduction of more than 50% already provided by bondholders in restructurings of predecessor instruments to the Bonds in 2007 and 2013." End quote.

NGO Community Urges Postponement of Senate Meeting
The Government is coming under pressure from the NGO Community which says it is disappointed that Elected Senator, Osmany Salas will not be able to sit in Friday's Senate meeting because it will happen 1 day before the commencement order for the 13th Senator takes effect. They're being joined by the Opposition Senators who have asked Senate President Lee Mark Chang for the meeting to be postponed until after the January 20 appointment. We've seen a copy of an email which Lead Opposition Senator Eamon Courtenay sent to the president on January 12, which says, quote, "...The 13 Senator's arrival in the Senate has been too long delayed, and an opportunity for him to participate in the upcoming meeting should not be missed. It does seem very odd that there is a senator-elect, and a meeting of the Senate will be held and he is unable to attend for no good reason...We respectfully urge you to set a new date after the 20 January 2017 so that Senator-elect Osmany Salas can take his rightful place and participate in the very important meeting." End Quote.

Puerto Azul Project, All Just A Ponzi Scheme?
The Puerto Azul project - we've been reporting on it since 2014 when pictures emerged showing Ministers Erwin Contreras, Juniour Heredia and the PM's wife Kim Barrow rubbing shoulders with Hollywood stars in Cannes, France. They were there for the launch of the Puerto Azul project, a mega luxury resort to be built on Northern 2 Caye and Sandbore Caye - within the Lighthouse Atoll, close to the Blue Hole. The project was described as having zero environmental impact by no less than its celebrity spokesperson John Travolta. Here's how he put it at the Cannes event talking about the supposed 8 star resort:... John Travolta, Puerto Azul Ambassador: "I am represent Puerto Azul new resort, that's 100% green in its building and its sustainability and it's also going to be the first 8-star resort in history." Kelly Preston, Puerto Azul Ambassador: "But they've also decide to do something that's unprecedented and they've develop the Tree of Dreams Foundation which they will give 20% of their net profits per year to the surrounding people in the villages."

The August Appeal And Everything Thereafter
3 months ago, we told you how convicted murderer Gregory August won a landmark judgment in the Court of Appeal. His victory made it so that there's no more mandatory sentence of life in prison for persons convicted of murder. We also showed you how students from the Norman Manley Law School were at the Belize Central Prison 2 weeks ago. They were holding workshops to explain to prisoners what this judgment could mean for those who had been sentenced to life before the appeal. Well, as we told you, August, the prisoner who started it all, isn't stopping there. He'll become the first appellant from Belize to go all the way to the Caribbean Court of Justice to argue a criminal appeal. His intention is to not only reduce the sentence, but he wants to completely overturn the conviction for murder against him. He'll now be joined by another prisoner, Alwin Gabb, who was convicted of murder in 2013. This morning, the judges of the CCJ held a teleconference, case management session with the attorneys for both men and DPP Cheryl-Lynn Vidal. 7News was there and we spoke to August's attorney after the session:

Strange Shooting In Toledo Leaves Man Critical
The new year started with an unusual murder in Punta Gorda town, and tonight there's the report of another unusual crime in the Toledo District - a San Antonio farmer held up by four masked men and shot. 56 year old Rufino Bul was at a bar in his home village when 4 masked men approached him and one of them shot him in the chest. Bul somehow walked to the San Antonio Clinic for treatment and was later transported to the Punta Gorda Hospital. He is now at the Southern Regional Hospital where he is listed as critical. Police are investigating.

Ladyville Fire Victims Lose Everything
Another home went up in flames in Lord's Bank yesterday. Around 11:00 in the morning, fire fighters were called out to a house in the Hollywood area of Lords bank. They put out the fire but nothing could be done to save the house. No one was inside at the time. Fire Department Station Manager Orin Smith gave us more details. Orin Smith - Station Manager, Fire Department: "On Monday the 16th of January 2017, at approximately 11:02 am the Ladyville branch of the national fire service received and responded to reports of a structural fire at a 47 Hollywood Drive, Lords Bank address. One unit was dispatched to that location. On arrival on scene found was an elevated wooden structure with zinc roofing measuring approximately 20 ft. by 30 ft., fully engulfed in flames. Following a brief size up, the department got into operation to extinguish the fire. The fire was later brought under control and extinguish. As a result of the fire, the structure was destroyed. Investigation revealed that the structure was occupied by 4 adults; 2 male and 2 female, none of whom said to be at home at the time the fire occurred. The structure was not insured, the origin of the fire was on the south west portion of the house and the cause is still not yet being determined."

Judge: Caceres Slapped A Woman Into drain; Accused Clais He was Drunk
Today 21 year old David Caceres appeared in the Magistrate's Court after being charged with harming Sherlette Young. According to Young, on New Year's Eve, her common-law-husband and Caceres got into a fight. After the fight was over, Young said she told her husband to go home, and went to buy food at a nearby shop. It was there that she and Caceres allegedly got into an argument, resulting in Caceres slapping her in the face so hard she fell into a drain. Caceres, who was undefended in the trial, told the court that he could not remember what happened that night because he was drunk. With that, he was found guilty of harm by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Smith then remanded him to the Belize Central Prison until the 30th of this month, while she decides whether he will serve prison time, or be fined with a non-custodial sentence.

Generating Standards From The Inside Out
The Belize Bureau of Standards is responsible for setting and regulating the qualities and standards of consumer goods in the country. While the Bureau's main task is to ensure that Belizeans enjoy a safe and adequate standard of goods and services, it must also make sure that what we are sending out to international markets is up to par. In order to guarantee these standards are upheld, the Bureau teamed up with consultants from the CDB to develop the National Quality Infrastructure project. We spoke with the Bureau's Director, Jose Trejo, and the project's main consultant, Sheryl Anderson, about the undertaking...

El Salvador Crushes Belize In COPA
Belizean Football Fans got their hearts broken today when El Salvador crushed Belize three to one in the third game of the Copa Centroameracana. Salvador's three goals were scored in the first 23 minutes of the game when three different players scored in an offensive blue for a scrambling Belizean defence. Belize's only bright spot came just before the end of the first half when star striker Deon McCaulay scored off a pass from Denmark Casey where he beat the goalkeeper and put it over the head of the lone defender who was in the goal. It was an exquisite shot from five yards out, and Belize's first goal of the Cup:

Belize Still Hopes For Wild Card
So Salvador gains the all important three points with this victory, leaving Belize with one point from its draw on Friday. Still that one point is enough to keep Belize tied with Nicaragua, which also has one point. While only the first four teams qualify for the Gold Cup, the fifth place team does qualify for a wild card playoff. President of the FFB Marlon Kuylen explained today:... Marlon Kuylen, President - FFB: "Expectations are always high, but we have to be realistic: we are not going to the COPA and coming in 1st, 2nd or probably 3rd. But the 4th, 5th and 6th position is up for grabs. While 4 of the top teams automatically qualify for the Gold Cup, the 5th place team will play against the 5th place team of the Caribbean which is Haiti and then I believe it's a home and away match with Haiti and the winner of that series will decide the final team that goes to the Gold Cup. Now, we believe that we matched up good against Salvador. We matched up good against Nicaragua. If we can get a draw and a win against Nicaragua, we're in."

FFB President Urges Fans To Refrain From Racism And Other Insults
But still, despite today's loss, where everyone was hoping for at least a draw, all hope is not lost. But Belize does play a pivotal match against Nicaragua on Friday which will likely determine whether the team return home in fifth or sixth. Kuylen made a special appeal to fans and observers who like to make rash comments on social media, that the disparaging, sometimes even racist remarks they make, do get to the team:.. Marlon Kuylen, President - FFB: "They are very focused on what they have to do. However, comments like the negative comments and some that are not warranted, especially the racial ones, do have an effect on them and I've been appealing to our public that 'you know what guys, give our boys a chance.'" Jules Vasquez, 7News: "What are the specific type of unnecessary mean and unproductive things people are saying?"

Channel 5

The End of Puerto Azul; Chief Developer Arrested in Italy for Massive Fraud
The controversial Puerto Azul project was a scam from the get go. It was launched at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival in France, where Ministers Manuel Heredia Junior and Erwin [...]

No to Superbond 3.0! Bondholders’ Advisor Explains Why
It didn’t take the Bondholder Committee appointed last week more than seventy-two hours to say no to Belize’s offer for a restructuring of the terms of the 2038 U.S. Dollar [...]

The Solution to Fixing Superbond is More Complex for Bondholders
The Committee is not advocating a particular solution, preferring to negotiate with Belize on the basis of debt relief in the medium-term. It wants a strong and credible medium-term program [...]

P.M.’s Threats of Economic War over Arbitration May Haunt Belize
Will Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s words in the House of Representatives on Friday, threatening “economic war” if Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited and Belize Social Development Limited attempt to collect on [...]

Glenn D. Godfrey Wants His Forty-Four Million Pound of Flesh
On the heels of three arbitration awards upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court last week and a fourth involving the Belize Bank still making its way through the U.S. court [...]

13th Senator Speaks on Disappointment of Freeze-Out
It’s been one week since the N.G.O. community voted overwhelmingly in favor of Osmany Salas to represent its membership as the thirteenth senator.   While an official appointment is pending, the [...]

N.G.O. Act Has Nothing To Do with Swearing-In
While the N.G.O. community is fully aware of government’s position to amend the N.G.O. Act, it maintains that the N.G.O. Amendment Bill has nothing to do with the swearing in [...]

Arson not Ruled Out in Lords’ Bank Fire
A couple has been left without a roof over their head following the fire that destroyed their home on Monday on Hollywood Drive in Lord’s Bank, Ladyville. The owners suspect [...]

G.S.U. Officer Accused of Personal Grudge and Harassment of Couple
Back in December, a San Ignacio couple came to our studios to make a complaint against a GSU Officer. They claimed that they were brutalized at the hands of the [...]

Anthony Myers Wanted for Assault, Will Be Sent to Jail
A Gales Point Manatee resident was handed down a three-year sentence after he was found guilty of aggravated assault with a firearm. Anthony Liston Myers, originally from Dangriga, was sentenced [...]

San Antonio, Toledo Farmer Shot, in Critical Condition
A farmer of San Antonio, Toledo District remains hospitalized tonight after surviving a near-fatal shooting incident on Monday night.  Shortly before eight o’clock, fifty-six-year-old Rufino Bul was inside his bar [...]

Belize Drops Second Straight Game to El Salvador, 3 to 1
The fate of Belize’s Gold Cup future is up in the air after losing to El Salvador in their third outing of the Central American Cup.  While Honduras is the [...]

Why Butane Prices Went Up
If you purchased butane since the eleventh of this month, you would have noticed that the price went up big time. Last week the Bureau of Standards sent out a [...]

Belize Wants to Improve its Standards
The Belize Bureau of Standards has received a grant from the Caribbean Development Bank to the tune of two hundred and eighty thousand U.S. dollars to be used to enhance [...]

Miss Belize Heads into Competition for Miss Universe
The competition is heating up in Manila, Philippines where Belize’s Rebecca Rath is holding her own in the sixty-fifth edition of the Miss Universe pageant. On Monday, the twenty-three-year-old beauty [...]

CTV3

Bond-holder Reject GOB's Proposal For Restructure Super-Bond
The debt clock is ticking on the Barrow Administration and its attempt to restructure the external debt bundled as the $530m Superbond for a second time in just four years. Last year, the Government announced that due to economic conditions and a severe financial crunch it would not be able to meet the next payment to bondholders due in February. Therefore, the Government has reached out to bondholders seeking, once again, a bit of mercy. But mercy may come with a price, as the Committee formed by bondholders to negotiate on their behalf has not budged in Government’s favour. Those terms include amending the bond’s amortization schedule and lowering the coupon payments. GOB has proposed that the interest rate be cut from 5% to 4% per annum starting February 20 up to maturity. Under the current terms, the bond payments carry an interest of 4% with a step up to 6.76% starting on August 20th.

Opposition Leader Weighs In On Bond-Holder's Rejection To Restructure Super-Bond
While Financial Secretary Joseph Waight has described the proposals as “the mildest adjustments” to achieve putting the bonds on a sustainable basis, there’s been no official reaction from the Government to the Committee’s rejection of their proposal. Undoubtedly, the news isn’t good. But while GOB is keeping mum about eh situation, Opposition Leader John Briceno isn’t. We spoke to him this afternoon and he told us why he isn’t all that surprised at the news. Honourable John Briceno - Opposition Leader People’s United Party: “We are not surprised that this was rejected outright by the bondholders we knew that was going to happen because the UDP has a poor track record when it comes to keeping up with tis commitments, when they renegotiated the new UDP Super-bond they made several commitments (1) that they were going to increase taxes, (2) that they were going to reduce the wage bill (3) that they were going to control government borrowings...”

Upcoming Budget Looks Grim For Belize
Parallel to the concerns on the Superbond are the fears over what will be proposed in the next fiscal year when Prime Minister Dean Barrow reads the budget in March or April this year. With the current economic conditions slipping into extended recession, and the Government facing rising debt, there seems to be no other option but to implement tougher measures for Belizeans. PUP Leader John Briceno also discussed what he expects will be in the UDP’s next budget, and he advised Belizeans to brace themselves. Honourable John Briceno - Opposition Leader People’s United Party: “The UDP has ran the economy to the ground, they have made some terrible decisions, they have been just fighting and fighting with everybody, the minute you don’t agree with the Prime Minister or with the UDP they attack you and if they can’t attack you in your house they attack you in court instead of looking at what is it that they need to do to get the economy growing, to get out of this mess that they have created, just in December the government had to print money, they issue about 37 million dollars of treasury bill and treasury notes through the central bank so that they could meet salaries...”

Miss Belize Gains International Recognition
On September 10th, 2016 the life of Rebecca Rath was completely transformed after she was crowned as the new Miss Belize Universe. Following her triumph, Rath officially began her journey on the road towards becoming recognized as Miss Universe 2017. Though Belize had not participated in the annual pageant for almost a decade, it is anticipated that Rebecca will boost the level of confidence for many as she has already achieved a milestone for the jewel. Last week we told you that Miss Belize travelled all the way to Manila, Philippines in order to make final preparations for the pageant which will kick off in less than two weeks. The twenty three year old representative stands among a total of ninety delegates from across the world who are vying for this year’s crown. In less than a week, Rebecca has managed to capture the attention of many…. both locally and abroad with her stunning personality and charisma.

Puerto Azul.....Just A Ponzy Scheme
Back in 2014, the announcement of the Puerto Azul project made major news after a delegation of Ministers including Erwin Contreras and Manuel Herredia and the politically connected including the wife of Prime Minister, Kim Simpliss-Barrow had travelled to the Cannes Film Festival in France to be wined and dined by the purported investors. The project also attracted opposition from environmentalists because it proposed to build a mega resort with hotel, golf course, villas and spa on two cayes along the Lighthouse Reef atolls. The Government welcomed the investment idea and even the entire Cabinet was ready to put the weight of its support on it. But today, international reports are revealing that the Puerto Azul project was part of a Ponzi scheme and that the so-called investor simply duped the Barrow Administration into supporting the idea.

NIP Served Into Accident That Claimed The Life Of Bowen And Bowen Employee
Last night we reported on the fatal traffic accident which claimed the life of thirty nine year old Orange Walk resident, Giovanni Ayuso. The horrific incident played out after 11:00 yesterday morning approximately one mile away from the entrance of August Pine Ridge Village. Ayuso was working at the time of the incident and was heading towards August Pine Ridge on his motorcycle when he came in collision with a blue 2004 Chevy pick-up bearing license plate POWC 20325 travelling in the opposite direction. While the driver of the Chevy, twenty three year old Mennonite Farmer Abram Friesen managed to escape unharmed, Ayuso died at the scene due to the massive impact.


#520981 - 01/18/17 01:05 AM Re: Today's Belize News: January 18, 2017 [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,800
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Amandala

Glenn D. Godfrey sues GOB for US$22 mil
The Government of Belize is battling yet another lawsuit in the United States court system, and reports reaching our newsroom indicate that on Friday, it moved the US Court of Appeal in the Eleventh Circuit, with jurisdiction in Georgia, Florida and Alabama, USA, with a petition to dismiss a US$22 million claim filed in the District Court of Florida back in 2002, in a dispute over an agreement to lease equipment from Glenn D. Godfrey’s now defunct Intelco — International Telecommunications Limited. Incidentally, Belize won the first round of litigation in 2013, when the lower court found that public interest matters favored dismissal of the case, but Godfrey, who had formed a company in Florida, USA, GDG Acquisitions LLC, to pursue the lawsuit, appealed and won in 2014. The US Court of Appeal in the 11th Circuit vacated the lower court’s ruling and remanded it back to the court for review on the question of jurisdiction, because the appeals court said that the lower court had erred in disagreeing that the proper forum for the litigation is the US.

Barrow dares Ashcroft
Monday’s ruling by the United States Supreme Court to deny three petitions from the Government of Belize asking the US not to allow the enforcement of separate arbitral awards totaling in excess of BZ$100 million, has gripped the nation’s attention. In a special sitting of the House of Representatives today, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow, the ruling United Democratic Party’s member for Queen’s Square, made a statement highlighting concerns of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) over the developments. Barrow furthermore threatened that any attempt by the litigants, and particularly the Michael Ashcroft group, to seize any assets held by Belize overseas—although Barrow contends that there is nothing that can be attached by the litigants to satisfy the award—would be deemed to be an act of economic war and thereafter, all options will be on the table.

Regular gas priced as high as premium as tab nears $10 a gallon
As we took a snapshot of the price list for gasoline at a UNO gas station in Belize City, which showed the price of regular and premium gasoline listed at $9.91 a gallon for both types of fuel, a driver celebrated the fact that at least the prices are still under $10 a gallon in Belize City—although he is hoping for a price ease at the pumps. For several days now, drivers could buy a gallon of premium gasoline for the same price as they could buy regular gasoline—which means that most drivers would take advantage of the price anomaly. What is the reason for the current state of affairs? Amandala has been reliably informed that the last time gasoline was imported, only regular gas was shipped, and it so happened that the acquisition price increased to such an extent that it pushed the level as high as the price of premium gasoline. It is not the first time that price anomalies have been seen at the pumps.

The Legal Year 2017 opens with the usual pomp and circumstance
The legal year opened this morning with the usual pomp and circumstance. Notwithstanding the ceremonial aspect of the opening, however, there are many challenges facing the judiciary that Chief Justice, the Hon. Kenneth Benjamin outlined in his address to the bar and bench. CJ Benjamin began his address quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the American civil rights leader whose birthday was yesterday, Sunday, January 15. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Dr. King had proclaimed in a 1963 letter. “The Judiciary cannot stand by itself as it relies on the Executive and the Legislative pillars of Government to provide its funding,” said Hon. Benjamin. The CJ said, “Any review of the performance of the Supreme Court must begin with a reference to the resources made available by the Legislature for the conduct of the business of the General Registry, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. Even so, it must be recognized that the budgetary allocation is inevitably inadequate to meet the myriad of activities in need of financing.” Government has allocated $9,851,008 which translates into 1.06% of the National Budget, CJ Benjamin said.

Mentally challenged man grazed by shooter
He was sent to buy plantains and Kool-Aid, but was unable to deliver the items to his sister because instead of returning home, he was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) by an unidentified taxi driver. According to police reports, Francis Petillo, Jr., 31, a mentally challenged man, was walking on Western Avenue from the direction of the George Price Highway at around noon on Sunday when he became a victim of a gun attack. According to our eyewitness accounts, while Petillo, Jr. was walking, a dark-skinned teenage male who was riding a beach cruiser bicycle in the opposite direction, from Mahogany Street to Western Avenue, spotted him, and immediately got off his bicycle, pulled out a .38 revolver and began firing at Petillo. We were told that he fired 6 shots at Petillo, who fled from Western Avenue to Police Street. His attacker then got back on his bicycle and rode off in the direction of the George Price Highway.

BTV, NTV, BPP AND VIP all registered their discontent with Referendum Act amendment
On Friday, the House of Representatives held its first meeting for the year, in which a bill was introduced to amend the threshold of the Referendum Act from sixty percent to a simple majority. While the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) debated the proposed amendments inside, on the outside, a small group led by the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) swarmed the steps of the National Assembly in protest of the proposed amendments. The protest by the group of men, women and children holding placards beneath the scorching sun began at around 10 a.m., but within an hour, they had all dispersed. At the height of the gathering we counted a turnout of 146 persons. Our newspaper spoke with Wil Maheia of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV); Phillip De La Fuente of the Northern Territorial Volunteers; Patrick Rogers of the Belize Progressive Party (BPP); and Hubert Enriquez of the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP), who were all present for today’s protest.

San Pedro Tiger Sharks maintains dominance in NEBL
The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) had its opening game on Friday, as San Pedro Tiger Sharks traveled out west to take on Cayo Western Ballaz at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town. The two-time NEBL champs, San Pedro Tiger Sharks jumped out to an early 20-9 lead at the end of the first quarter, with the home team closing the gap to 7 points at the half, 36-29. The third quarter was the deciding quarter of the game, as San Pedro outscored Cayo Western Ballaz, 27 to 11, to take a 23-point lead going into the final quarter of the game. The home team was unable to mount a come-back, handily sealing the 83-55 victory. San Pedro Tiger Sharks was led by American import George Williams, who had the game high with 19 points, to go with 5 assists, 1 steal and 50% shooting from the field. Raul “Thumpy” Roches tallied 18 pts, 9 rebs and 2 assts; while Ashton Edwards netted 13 pts, including three shots from behind the arc, to go with 4 boards and 2 steals.

Copa Centroamericana standings
1. Honduras 2 2 0 0 4:2 6 2. Costa Rica 2 1 1 0 3:0 4 3. Panama 2 1 1 0 2:1 4 4. El Salvador 1:0 3 1 1 1 2:2 4 5. Belize 0:1 3 0 1 2 0:4 1 6. Nicaragua 2 0 0 2 2:4 0

http://amandala.com.bz/news/csssa-high-school-football-continues-mcc-2/
The 3-week long regular season of the 2016-2017 football competition for the Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) completed its first week of games on Saturday at the MCC Grounds. In our last issue, we reported on games played last Monday through Wednesday. On Thursday night last week, (F) SCA clipped Gwen Liz (GLH), 1-0, on a goal by Hanna Kay Williams, and (M) Maude Williams (MWH) edged Nazarene High (NHS), 2-1, with a goal each from Egbert Myers and Jaheem Thomas; while Mynor Hernandez scored for NHS. On Friday, January 13, (F) Pallottti and Wesley played to a 0-0 draw. And (M) SJC shelled Belize High (BHS), 5-nil, with 2 goals from Dion Cacho, and 1 apiece from Shemar Waight, Luis Orosco and Carlos Guerra.

Belize line-ups at Copa Centroamericana 2017 in Panama
Congratulations to our Belize Jaguars on their historic achievement in the opener against Panama! For a team with no international practice matches under our belt, that was a monster accomplishment. Big Up, guys! Never mind the 3-0; that was another outstanding performance against the great Costa Rica. We got their attention; and we’re improving. There’s no turning back. Fahn ya go back, da FAIYAH!! Belize has already played two games of the five we are scheduled to play in the Copa Centroamericana 2017, being hosted this year at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City, Panama. For the benefit of our Belizean fans, we are below recording the line-ups and changes made on the Belizean team in each of our games. After our historic 0-0 draw with Panama in the opener on Friday night, Belize yesterday lost 3-0 to two-time defending champs, Costa Rica. Looking back, our team played well in both games; and, despite the 3-0 loss to Costa Rica, our possession time was significantly increased from the previous game, and we ended on a strong note, taking shots. Panama had 68% possession to Belize’s 32%; whereas Costa Rica had 58% to Belize’s 42 %.

Editorial: Colonialism of the mind
The power of the major Christian religions became awesome in colonial British Honduras because, not only did these religions essentially control the destiny of our immortal souls, they owned the schools which transferred some education and technology from the colonial masters to selected native children. The major Christian religions here, then, were in charge of a process which enabled the children of some members of the working classes to escape the manual drudgery of their parents and rise into the clerical classes. This was the desire of most working class parents in the colony – an educated life for their children. It is said that the first school in British Honduras was opened around 1814 or so by the Anglican Church in Belize Town. (Slavery was still firmly in place then in the settlement of Belize.) The Anglicans were followed by the Methodists in the 1830s where the matter of schools was concerned. To the best of our knowledge, the Roman Catholics began opening schools in Belize in the second half of the nineteenth century, after the mostly Catholic refugees from the 1847 Caste War in Yucatan began populating the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts.

From The Publisher
I heard a spokesperson for the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) make an arrogant and asinine comment on Friday morning. The spokesperson said that they (the UDP) did not need anybody (seemingly, pointedly, referring to such as this newspaper) because they had won three consecutive general elections “by themselves.” The electoral reality is that yes, the organization of the ruling party does the legwork to win general elections, but all the votes a winning party receives are not from their party voters. A winning party will receive a sizeable chunk of the independent votes and even some votes, in any given election, from the more analytical supporters of the losing party. Kremandala is a unique institution, the only one of its kind in Central America and the Caribbean, because Kremandala is a roots media house which has proven over several decades that it can fight the major political parties when it has to do so. Between July of 1970 and January of 1971, I was tried in the Supreme Court on two different charges. The July 1970 trial was a political trial, while the January 1971 charge was a criminal charge. The criminal trial was related to the political trial: the common denominator was that a certain section of the Belizean people was supporting Kremandala in its 1970/1971 original construction.

Message to Mr. Manuel
Dear Mr. Heredia! I do wish you A HAPPY NEW YEAR personally and as our Area Representative and hope that we all as islanders can find positive solutions to this quickly changing everyday reality. One thing we can be sure of in this year of 2017 is CHANGES. The reason I am writing you as our representative is that after our last Caye Caulker Village Council meeting I got so frustrated that I just went home after 1 1/2 hours. With all the good intentions of the new CCVC, each and every project they would like to do would not be possible to do due to the lack of funds. There was no money to fix the truck so the roads can’t be fixed and the debris after the cable company/hurricane in our street can’t be taken away. We would like to get a garbage truck to collect the household garbage. We would like to do this, we would like to do that but there is no money. SO? On the way home I was reflecting on a past CCVC meeting some 20+ years ago where Ms. Ilna Alamina’s now deceased husband proposed to start offshore banking in Caye Caulker to solve the same problems we have now as we had then. That solution was so foreign and far out from our island reality that people just shook their head. I was fantasizing about what would have happened but one thing I was sure of: we would not be in the same situation as we are now!

Belize asks bondholders to take interest cut and push back amortization
In a statement released today, the Government of Belize proposed to holders of its billion-dollar super-bond, due to mature in 2038, two adjustments in the terms and conditions of their arrangement: one being a reduction in the interest rate from the current level of 5% down to 4%, and the other being a delay in amortization payments of 17 years, with an offer to push back the commencement date from 2019 to 2036. The Government is now hoping for the consent of the bondholders to its proposal, in the hope that an agreement can be reached before the next $13.5 million in semi-annual payments is due on February 20. The next payment thereafter would be due in August, but the current repayment schedule calls for an increase in the interest rate to 6.767%—a trajectory which the Government of Belize says is unsustainable given the current economic climate. In a memorandum to a trustee of bondholders last week (specifically addressed to the Bank of New York Mellon), the Government of Belize, via Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, said that Belize is seeking the consent of bondholders to amend the terms of the 2013 agreement, which, in fact, represented the second restructuring of the debt.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Fatal traffic accident in Corozal
Confirmed reports reaching our newsroom is that a bus knocked down a cyclist near Buena Vista village in Corozal shortly before 7 tonight. The person died on the spot because of the impact. Police are currently on the scene.

Minor shot and killed in Belize city
The city streets have claimed another life tonight. Official police reports to our newsroom is that a 15 year old minor was shot and killed on Iguana street extension tonight in Belize City.

Between These Lines “… an all-too-familiar pattern of deficits, debt and debasement …”
It is surprising, very surprising to some members of the Belize electorate with whom I interact particularly on Facebook, to learn that I think that our nation’s economy is in far worse condition today than it was in 2008 when the Barrow administration ascended into office. I, on other the hand, am unsurprised by their reaction to this realization. Belizean sociologists and political commentators are still trying to sort out the historical record for our young nation. Our record keeping is, in a word, abysmal.

Bondholders reject GOB’s consent solicitation
The Bondholder Committee, appointed by holders of Belize’s 2038 Bonds, has rejected government’s consent solicitation presented to holders last Thursday.According to a release from the Committee, “If approved, the proposed amendments to the terms and conditions of the Bonds contemplated by the Consent Solicitation would crystalize a further reduction in the net present value of the Bonds in excess of 40%, in addition to a cumulative reduction of more than 50% already provided by bondholders in restructurings of predecessor instruments to the Bonds in 2007 and 2013.”

What will the new Attorney General do about Pitts and Vega?
Andre Vega, the son of former Cabinet Minister, Gaspar Vega along with attorney Sharon Pitts are yet to return tax payers’ dollars after acquiring owned land and receiving large government compensation during Vega’s reign over the Lands Department. The two were ordered to return the $400,000 that they each had received but to date they have not done so. As a result, the Solicitor General was advised to file a suit against them. When the media spoke to the newly appointed Attorney General, Michael Peyrefitte, he said that he will continue the matter but refused to share further details.

Puerto Azul was a scam
Almost three years ago, Tourism Minister, Manuel Heredia, backed by Cabinet, had given Puerto Azul the green light to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for its project proposal. The San Pedro Sun, however, today, reported that the Puerto Azul project, which would have seen the construction of luxurious resort, with many amenities within the Lighthouse Reef Atoll was actually a front for a ponzi scheme orchestrated by Domenico Giannini and his colleague Fabio La Rosa.

Senate meeting to proceed without 13th Senator
This week’s scheduled Senate meeting will proceed without the participation of the newly selected 13th Senator, Osmany Salas.The meeting will take place on Thursday as was previously scheduled. Opposition Leader John Briceno, however, has said the move is an act of bad faith on the part of the government since the meeting is being held the day before the commencement order for the appointment of the 13th senator takes effect.

Conservationists to survey Morelet’s crocodile population
The Crocodile Research Coalition (CRC), a conservation organization established in January 2016 to promote conservation, research and education through community involvement of the environment and adjacent wildlife of crocodile habitat, has commenced the countrywide Morelet’s crocodile (Crocodylus moreletii) population survey. The CRC is co-founded by Dr. Marisa Tellez, a member and Vice Regional Chair of Latin America for the International Union for Conservation of Nature/SSC-Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG). The last official survey of the Morelet’s crocodile was performed in the mid-1990’s by the CSG, declaring this species as recovered from past overexploitation, yet proper management was still needed to ensure the conservation and survival of this species. This current survey, which includes data from habitat monitoring, nocturnal eyeshine surveys, capture surveys and nest surveys, will provide Forest Department with the necessary current data to develop the appropriate management and conservation plans for the Morelet’s crocodile while simultaneously mitigating human-crocodile conflict.

Trump takes office on Friday
On Friday, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States of America.It is a truth still shocking to many, as Trump’s victory in last year’s US Presidential election was viewed as unlikely. Trump defied the odds and won despite […]

Fair weather to continue
The 24-hour forecast is for mostly cloudy skies with a few showers mainly along coastal and northern areas today with some isolated showers tonight. The National Meteorological Service informs that a gusty easterly to southeasterly airflow will prevail. The wind will blow from the […]

Armed robbers target Toledo farmer; farmer in critical condition at hospital
Runino Bul, 56, a farmer of San Antonio village in the Toledo District was shot yesterday. According to police reports, the incident happened at 7:54 p.m. inside the owner’s bar. When police arrived at the scene, Bul was suffering from a gunshot wound to […]

Fatal traffic accident on August Pine ridge road- update
Yesterday, a traffic accident on the August Pine Ridge road claimed the life of one man. Giovanni Ayuso, 41, a salesman from Palmar village in the Orange Walk district was riding his motorbike a mile away from August Pine Ridge when he collided head […]

Blogs

Crab Races at Crazy Canucks is island fun for a worthy cause!
On an island as busy as San Pedro, visitors and locals alike are often searching for a fun activity every night of the week. Tuesday is kind of an odd day in the week – it doesn’t have that weekend ‘party-till-you-drop’ feel, but it’s much better than the Monday ‘blues’. So, if you are looking for some excitement to a Tuesday night, how about a crab race? Intrigued? Then we have just the spot for you! Every Tuesday night, Crazy Canucks Beach Bar holds their Hermit Crab Race. With a chance to win fabulous prizes, the place gets jammed pack with patrons cheering on the competitors, little bitty hermit crabs. For just $10BZ you can bet on a hermit crab of your choice. Owners Rob and Krista have an aquarium filled with these little crustaceans ready to take to the track. As for the track – well, it’s more like a circular obstacle course, wiThe 2017 Miss Universe pageant is set to take place on January 30, 2017, in the Philippines. With hundreds of contestants, it might be easy to overlook Rebecca Rath, the young woman representing Belize, but her path towards the crown has been a publicity boon for the small Central American nation. A native of Dangriga in the southeastern part of the country, Rath has divided her time between her home nation of Belize and Texas in the United States where she attended the University of Houston. Rath first rose to national prominence as an athlete on the country’s junior and later adult volleyball squads. After graduating from the University of Houston with a Bachelors degree in Hospitality Management, Rath returned to Belize to work with national tourism organizations and help manage her family’s hotel. Rath, aged just 23, was crowned Miss Belize in September 2016, an event that was widely popular amongst Belizeans across the entire social spectrum. With her infectious smile and typical Belizean accent, Rath has charmed more than just her fellow compatriots. Miss Universe pageant enthusiasts from around the world like the website Missosology.info have begun to take note of Rath, currently ranking her in 18th place due to her athleticism, articulate speaking, and natural beauty. th ropes used to divide it into two segments. Items signifying the prizes up for action are placed within the course, and the first crab to crawl to each item takes the winnings!

Miss Belize Universe is putting Belize on the map
The 2017 Miss Universe pageant is set to take place on January 30, 2017, in the Philippines. With hundreds of contestants, it might be easy to overlook Rebecca Rath, the young woman representing Belize, but her path towards the crown has been a publicity boon for the small Central American nation. A native of Dangriga in the southeastern part of the country, Rath has divided her time between her home nation of Belize and Texas in the United States where she attended the University of Houston. Rath first rose to national prominence as an athlete on the country’s junior and later adult volleyball squads. After graduating from the University of Houston with a Bachelors degree in Hospitality Management, Rath returned to Belize to work with national tourism organizations and help manage her family’s hotel. Rath, aged just 23, was crowned Miss Belize in September 2016, an event that was widely popular amongst Belizeans across the entire social spectrum. With her infectious smile and typical Belizean accent, Rath has charmed more than just her fellow compatriots. Miss Universe pageant enthusiasts from around the world like the website Missosology.info have begun to take note of Rath, currently ranking her in 18th place due to her athleticism, articulate speaking, and natural beauty.

6 Great Reasons to Treat Your Family to a Belize Vacation
What’s more gut-wrenching than bundling your kids into boots, coats, mittens and hats to send them off to school in winter than hearing your child plead: “Mom, how come we can’t go on vacation like Bobby’s family? He got to pack a bathing suit and sunscreen and it’s freezing outside!” Of course, you could beat Bobby’s family to the Caribbean by planning your own warm and sunny adventure—-a holiday that's probably badly needed by every family member. Where to go? To the family vacation capital of the western hemisphere, Belize. Need reasons? These six are just the tip of the iceberg—-make that the top of the palm tree! 1. Wonderful Belize Weather: Bathing suits are in fashion year-round thanks to Belize’s perpetually warm weather. Sure it’s warmer in summer, but tropical breezes and cooling rain showers won’t dampen your enthusiasm or delight, and if just the thought of 80 degrees in December and January excite you, we rest our case. Looking to save a few bucks? Belize in May or September brings discounts and bargains, so even your wallet gets a vacation.

U.S. News & World Report ranks Belize as the #1 Winter Vacation Destination
U.S. News & World Report, one of America's most prestigious publications and perhaps best known for its popular rankings articles, has just listed Belize as the number one destination in the world for an affordable winter vacation. The U.S. News & World Report article highlighted the fact that warm temperatures (averaging 80 F during the winter months) and an ample supply of sunshine are some of the principle reasons why visiting Belize during the winter is so popular. The article also spotlighted popular attractions such as snorkeling and scuba diving, including at the Belize Blue Hole, rated by Jacques Cousteau as one of the top 10 diving spots on the planet.

International Sourcesizz

La Nina Conditions Likely To Become A Neutral ENSO Within The Next 1 To 2 Months & Remain Neutral Through The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season
All signs are pointing towards our current La Nina to become neutral conditions either during February or March. These signs include ocean water temperatures in the eastern and central tropical Pacific, which are gradually warming up to near normal levels. I do think that there is a very good chance that we will see these neutral ENSO conditions persist through the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season, however, I’m not convinced that we will see the development of a new El Nino this year, even though some of the climate models suggest the development of a El Nino during this summer or autumn. There is a large difference between the ENSO climate models with their forecasts. The European model has 80 percent of its members forecasting the development of a El Nino by May or June. On the other hand, most of the CFS model members are forecasting neutral conditions through this summer and autumn. As I have already mentioned, I am leaning much more towards the idea of a neutral ENSO starting during either February or March and continuing through this summer and autumn. One big reason why I don’t think we’ll see a El Nino this year is because a quick turnaround from La Nina to a El Nino is rare.

Extraordinary photo shows the outgoing President snorkeling among coral reef off the coast of his native Hawaii
He is used to being pictured in a suit and tie while giving speeches and meeting fellow world leaders. But as he leaves the White House, a brand new picture has been released showing Barack Obama in a very different environment. The extraordinary image shows the president wearing just a pair of swimming shorts as he snorkels among the wildlife in the Pacific Ocean. Published in the February edition of National Geographic, it was snapped by photographer Brian Skerry, as Obama glided through the water off the coast of Midway Atoll.

Belize creditors reject government offer on bond restructuring
A committee of Belize creditors has rejected proposed changes to terms in the country's US$530m super bond that were put forward by the government last week. The bondholder group - appointed by a majority of holders of the 2038 notes and recognized by the trustee, Bank of New York Mellon - said in a statement on Tuesday that the changes would reduce the net present value of the bond by over 40%. Belize launched a consent solicitation on January 12 to amend the amortization schedule and lower the coupon on the note, which local authorities say the country is unable to pay. The solicitation is all but certain to fail without agreement by the committee members as it requires approval from holders representing 75% of the bond. The committee said the economic measures that Belize has put forward so far are "unlikely to reduce future risks to debt sustainability or to the stability of the country's currency peg in a sufficient manner."

Belize Becomes First to Sign Multi-country Sustainable Development Framework
Belize has signed a common UN strategy for sustainable development in the Caribbean, becoming the first country to do so. The UN Multi-national Sustainable Development Framework (MSDF) represents a coherent strategy of all UN organizations in the English- and Dutch- speaking Caribbean to address common sustainability challenges. It covers the period from January 2017 to December 2021. The MSDF replaces six country-level UN Development Frameworks, for: Barbados and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS); Belize; Guyana; Jamaica; Suriname; and Trinidad and Tobago. The Caribbean MSDF aims to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), taking into account international and regional commitments, such as the Samoa Pathway. It also seeks to promote the international human rights that have been ratified in the region.

Caribbean And Latin America News Round Up For Jan. 18, 2017
Here are the stories making news across the Caribbean, Latin America and its US Diaspora for today, Jan. 18, 2017: A year after ABC7 executive producer Anne Swaney was murdered while on vacation in Belize, the case remains unsolved. Swaney’s family and friends have had a year of anguish because the 39-year-old was gone, but also because her murderer has not been caught. Belize police are in charge of the investigation, but there has been no apparent progress in the search for the killer.

Miss Barbados leading People’s Poll for Miss Universe
Have you voted as yet? Barbadian beauty Shannon Harris has won the hearts of many persons throughout the world, who are voting for the winner of Kaleidoscope of Pageantry People’s Poll. Persons can go to the pageant's page to choose the candidate they believe should take the crown at the 65th edition of Miss Universe pageant. When the poll is finished, whichever beauty tops the votes will be featured in a special editorial during the contest. Of the more than 80 countries represented at this year's Miss Universe pageant in The Philippines, Miss Barbados Shannon Harris has a narrow lead over Miss Belize Rebecca Rath.

10 of the world’s best secret islands that you can visit right now
Like New Zealand’s Great Barrier Island, Caye Caulker forgoes traffic lights. The five mile strip of land is just a 15-minute flight from Belize’s main airport. You can snorkel among nurse sharks and stingrays at Shark Ray Alley and go scuba diving in the underwater caves of the Blue Hole.

Belize creditors reject government offer on bond restructuring
A committee of Belize creditors has rejected proposed changes to terms in the country's US$530m super bond that were put forward by the government last week. The bondholder group - appointed by a majority of holders of the 2038 notes and recognized by the trustee, Bank of New York Mellon - said in a statement on Tuesday that the changes would reduce the net present value of the bond by over 40%. Belize launched a consent solicitation on January 12 to amend the amortization schedule and lower the coupon on the note, which local authorities say the country is unable to pay. The solicitation is all but certain to fail without agreement by the committee members as it requires approval from holders representing 75% of the bond.

Videos

  • CARICOM Youth Ambassador Technology & Youths, 29min.

  • Caleb Orosco - David Kato Vision & Voice Award, 22min.

  • Criminal Code & Cyber Crimes, 27min.

  • An Over View of The Integrity Commission, 35min.

  • The U.S. Ambassador to Belize - End of Tearm Interview, 25min.

  • Belize Aggressor 2016 2, 14min.

  • Corozal Junior College Drug Awarness Week, 3.5min. The Corozal Junior College is observing Drug Awareness Week and this morning the students and their teachers marched through Corozal Town to demonstrate to the public that they are taking a stand against drug-use

  • PLENTY COCONUT AD, 1min.

  • Explore the reef at Mexico Rocks in Belize's Hol Chan Marine Reserve, 42min. Hi from Mexico Rocks! :) Travel Channel is enjoying one of our favorite snorkel spots!

  • Namaste Kakao, 1min. Trailer zur gleichnamigen Doku uber Kakao aus Sudindien.

  • Cuba:Belize Go Pro, 4min.

  • Snorkeling au Belize, 4min.

  • Belize 2016, 39min. Vacation to Belize 2016.

  • Fly Fishing For Bonefish in Ambergris Caye (San Pedro) Belize, 11.5min. I was nearing the end of my trip to Belize, and had already done all the fishing I had desired. After leaving the fishing island, we went to Ambergris Caye for New Years Eve. As I was walking near the beach at our hotel, I saw a sign that said, "Guided Fly Fishing trips for bonefish and tarpon. I had to go. This is not even half of the bonefish I had caught.

  • Miss Belize Universe 2016 visits Boracay, Philippines., 1min. This past week, 16 delegates of Miss Universe 2016-17 were chosen to visit the paradise that is Boracay, Philippines. Miss Belize Universe 2016 Rebecca Rath was among them. Here's a small peek of how the trip went.

  • GPH Belize 2016 Starts First Week with Health Fair, 2min.

  • CCA 2017: El Salvador vs Belize Highlights, 2min.

  • El Salvador vs Belize 3-1 PARTIDO COMPLETO Copa Centroamericana 2017, 225min.


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