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Today's Belize News: January 28, 2017 #521237
01/28/17 12:49 AM
01/28/17 12:49 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,984
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 House of Culture presents Bob Marley photo exhibit
The San Pedro House of Culture (SPHC), along with IRIE Belize, are featuring an exhibition in honour of Jamaican Reggae Legend, Bob Marley. The exhibit was launched on Wednesday, January 25th prior to the Tribute to Bob Marley’s concert slated for February 4th from 11AM at the Central Park. Residents and visitors gathered at the SPHC on Angel Coral Street at 7PM to check out the exhibit detailing the life of the reggae king. The exhibit features a detailed pictorial insight to Marley’s life, with images from his early years, to his marriage and successful singing career. The event also included live performances from reggae singers who interpreted songs by the Reggae Idol. The many pictures of the exhibit also depict the themes of Marley’s songs, including oppression, slavery, poverty, and human rights.

The first dentists have arrived at the Smile Clinic Too
Annually, the San Pedro Smile Clinic Too at the Holy Cross Anglican School hosts a number of dentists offering free dental services. The first two of the visiting dentists were at the clinic between the 23rd and 27th of January, and with the aid of other volunteers on the island, attended many children from 8AM to 3PM. Dentists Dr. Paul Roggow, and Dr. George Hankel are from the USA. This year marks Roggow’s tenth trip to the school and on the invitation of Doctor Mark Johnson, the founder of the clinic. During the clinics, both doctors provided several dental procedures. “We do mainly fillings, cleanings and sealing,” said Roggow. All patients who needed extraction were referred to the dental clinic at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. According to Roggow, the services they provided were aimed at preventing tooth decay and gum disease, to mention a few. Children who were treated not only received dental gifts, such as tooth brushes, floss and toothpaste, but they were given lessons on what to eat in order to help them maintain healthy teeth.

U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) offering reward in the case of U.S. Citizen, Anne Swaney
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been working with the Belize Police Department on the investigation of January 2016 murder of Anne Swaney in Belize. The FBI is assisting with interviews and has submitted items of evidence for scientific analysis to the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia. While there are some promising leads in the case, the FBI and the Belize Police Department are asking the public for assistance in apprehending the subject or subjects responsible for this terrible crime. The FBI is offering a reward of up to US $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the murder of Anne Swaney. Anyone with relevant information should contact the FBI in Belize at +501 637-9915, their local FBI office in the United States, or any U.S. embassy or consulate around the world.

Senate Special Select Committee interrogates former Immigration Director
On January 18th, the Senate Special Select Committee resumed its Senate hearings on the Immigration Department in Belmopan. Although the newly-elected 13th Senator Osmany Salas did not attend the first hearing, the meeting proceeded with its agenda to investigate the findings of Auditor General Dorothy Bradley’s Special Audit into the Passport, Visa and Nationality Department for 2011-2013. Former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan, was interrogated by the Senate Select Committee for approving applications for permanent residency, passports, and visa issuance. When the immigration scandal came to light, Auditor Bradley revealed that a list of 15 foreigners received a passport without meeting the requirements. Meighan was questioned about the passports approved for foreigners. One of the requirements for permanent residency is to reside in Belize for one year, and these foreigners did not meet legal requirements.

The Gasoline Lollipops set the dance floor on fire at The Dive Bar
An anniversary is always something to celebrate, and when you add a birthday to the mix, it can only mean one thing…PARTY! Such was the case when over the weekend not only did The Dive Bar and Sea Star Belize turn one year old, but owner Doug McLain celebrated his birthday as well. The two day celebration featured local musicians alongside the Colorado, USA-based band, The Gasoline Lollipops. Known as an alternative-country band, the high energy quartet had the crowd tapping their toes and dancing the night away. With great vocals, edgy tunes and one heck of an electric fiddle player, folks enjoyed listening to a type of music that rarely frequents San Pedro Town. Located in the Tres Cocos Area just north of the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge, The Dive Bar kicked off the festivities at 4:30pm on Saturday January 21st. Local favorites Dennis Wolfe II and Brent Butcher each warmed up the crowd with their acoustic tunes, and by the time The Gasoline Lollipops took to the beachside stage around 8pm, people were good and ready to kick up their heels! The dance floor was hopping and everyone had a great time.

National AIDS Commission hosts workshop on “Creating an enabling Environment for Key Populations Affected by HIV in Belize”
In an effort to train journalists/media personnel in reporting topics regarding HIV (human immunodeficiency disorder)/TB (tuberculosis), the National AIDS Commission (NAC) hosted a two-day training on January 17th and January 18th. Held at The Inspiration Center in Belize City from 8AM to 4PM, the workshop was attended by Martha Carrillo (Founder of MC Consultancy), Lizet Aldana (Associate Consultant of MC Consultancy), Keron Cacho (Program Coordinator of NAC), Avil Steadman (Kolbe Foundation’s Jeremiah Radio), Rhonda Gentle (Morning Matters), and Chelsea Hall (The San Pedro Sun). By the end of 2020, NAC envisions that Belize will have continued to reduce the number of HIV infections; extended the length and quality of life of people living with HIV; significantly reduced discrimination against persons vulnerable to HIV; and effectively coordinated a multi-sectorial response.

Ambergris Today

Invitation to San Pedro Cancer Awareness Walk
Friends, I hope this letter finds you and your place of business under the most fortunate of circumstances. It is a great honour and privilege to also wish you a Happy New Year on behalf of the San Pedro Cancer Society and that we may all be rejoicing in the prosperity that it has to offer. As you may know, the San Pedro Cancer Society holds a “Light the Night” cancer awareness walk every 4th of February in commemoration of World Cancer Awareness Day. This year will be no different. It is in the anticipation of this event that we take this opportunity to invite you and your staff to this year’s event. This year’s walk is scheduled to start on February 4th, 2017 at 6:00pm. We will be gathering at this time at the Central Park. The walk will leave central park on Barrier Reef Drive, circle the roundabout at the San Juan Area, head back down through Pescador Drive to the Primary school and then unto Barrier Reef Drive to culminate at Central Park for a short briefing and a minute of silence in memory of those no longer with us and in honour of those still in battle.

Permssion Needed for Private Property Burials, Ministry Says
It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Health that several requests have been made recently for the burial of deceased persons on private premises, although there exists an approved cemetery in most communities. It is important to note that burials should be conducted at approved cemeteries as per the Public Health Act Chapter 40 Section 30 (1) of Laws of Belize. Requests for burial on private premises will only be approved for communities without an approved cemetery, as per the Public Health Act Chapter 40 section 30 (1) of the Laws of Belize. The public is reminded that the Director of Health Services in the Ministry of Health is the only authorized person by the Public Health Act Chapter 40 Section 31 to give permission for such burial if the location meets public health requirements.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Management and Protection of Key Biodiversity Areas in Belize Project (KBA)
The Government of Belize with the assistance of the World Bank is implementing the project entitled “Management and Protection of Key Biodiversity Areas in Belize (KBA)” with Grant funding from the Global Environment Facility “GEF” and has appointed the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry the Environment and Sustainable Development (MAFFESD) for the overall implementation of the Project with the fiduciary support provided by the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT). The Government of Belize intends to apply part of the proceeds of the grant to payments under the contract for this Consultancy. KBA and PACT now invites eligible consulting Firms to indicate their interest in providing the services. In submitting its Expression of Interest, Firms should provide information demonstrating that it have the required and relevant experience to perform the Services.

Andrea Allen Fundraiser Raffle
I am doing a fundraiser raffle for my mom who has breast cancer.. I'm asking your help by purchasing at least a ticket from us. Tickets is sold at San Pedro/caye caulker water jets Intl. Also can be purchased from Rica Ruby Alcala,mark (security at ccatlantic bank), ezboy tours, purple passion salon, Mrs.Aleida Blease, Mrs.Enelda Rosado or CCVC Fernando Allen (aka Sick) and also my self contact me @6261763. On the date of the drawing also be food, pastries, sodas on sale on February 25th,2017,Saturday. @caye caulker basketball Court. Thanks every one for your donations and support!

Belize Fishing Report: January 15th, – January 21st, 2017
A very light week here at the lodge with only a boat or 2 going out each day. Several encounters with tarpon a couple of hookups but none came to the boat. The winds kept the anglers off fabled Savanah flats

BELTRAIDE and the Nature Conservancy holds meeting to discuss development of Belize’s Seaweed Industry
EXPORTBelize, Beltraide and The Nature Conservancy facilitated a working session with fisher groups from Hopkins, Placencia, Punta Gorda, Sarteneja, Dangriga and Belize City, along with a representative from the Belize Federation of Fishers, to discuss development of Belize’s Seaweed Industry. This session is just one activity under a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) signed between BELTRAIDE and The Nature Conservancy in November 2016. A key objective of the MOC is to encourage a sustainable seaweed industry in Belize that provides products for local and international markets and directly impact livelihoods of coastal communities while restoring ecosystem health. Each group was given the opportunity to report on the status of development relating to seaweed and to report on challenges faced in trying to advance their seaweed operations. The discussions were fruitful and the groups embraced a collaborative approach, offering advice to one another and applauding each other for efforts and accomplishments to dates. Both Agencies took the opportunity to outline their roles in the partnership and facilitated discussions on strategies to address challenges faced. The session concluded with discussions on the way forward relating to capacity building, marketing, market research and other efforts to advance development of the industry.

Taiwan Scholarship Program 2017
The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is pleased to announce the Taiwan Scholarship Program 2017. This scholarship will allow Belizeans to attend undergraduate or graduate program of their choice at universities in Taiwan starting from academic year 2017 (commencing in September 2017). A Mandarin Language Enrichment Program (LEP), if necessary, may be included to improve the recipients’ language abilities. Scholarship recipients will be provided with a round trip economy class airfare, and a monthly stipend of NT$30,000 (approximately US$950) for those who are pursuing degrees, and a monthly stipend of NT$25,000 (approximately US$800) for those who are learning the Mandarin courses, to cover the costs of tuition, board and lodging, books and medical insurance.

World Pediatric Project Orthopedic Surgery Mission 2017
The World Pediatric Project is coming to the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan next Sunday, February 5th. Thanks, WPP! "World Pediatric Project in collaboration with the Western Regional and San Ignacio Hospital would like to announce its Pediatric Orthopedic Surgery Mission . Date : Sunday , 5th February 2017 Place : Western Regional Hospital Belmopan Time : 8:00 a.m"

Training on defensive tactics and arrest technique
The Embassy, through the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), partnered with the Belize Police Department (BPD) to provide training on defensive tactics and arrest techniques to 19 BPD instructors. The two week training course was held at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan from January 16 to 27, 2017. Instructors from the Denver, Colorado Police Department taught officers techniques on how to protect themselves and citizens, and the proper way, when necessary, to use force when apprehending suspects. Aspects of the course will be added to the training curriculum of the BPD and will also be extended to the field via the Field Training Officer Program. "We did drills, drills, drills, and drills. We are confident and ready to train our colleagues and apply what we learned to keep Belize safe and secure," concluded a course participant.

Channel 7

PM Introduces Bill To Firewall Reserves From Ashcroft Axis
Last night we told you about the emergency house meeting that the Barrow Administration had called with just 24 hours notice. Tonight, we know that the purpose of the meeting was to get the House to pass an unusual piece of legislation - with an odd name. It's called "a bill for an act to restate for greater certainty the immunity of the Central Bank of Belize for legal proceedings in other states." Basically, it's designed to protect Belize's reserves from the pair of Ashcroft companies that are trying to recover 50 million US dollars in arbitral awards granted by a US court. Today, when he presented the bill, the Prime Minister said that it had to be done in a hurry and with state secrecy. That's because there were indications that the Ashcroft interests would try so swoop in and freeze the Central Bank reserves before they could be firewalled with this legislation. The PM detailed the race against time:

PUP Supports Bill to Protect Reserves
And, if the Prime Minister seemed especially accommodating and apologetic, it's because, as you heard, he was trying to get the opposition's support for the bill. Now, getting bi-partisan support for any legislation is extremely rare. And, today, the opposition was none too happy about seeing the bill for the first time when they arrived at 9:00 for the House Meeting at 10:00. With that the debate did not seem encouraging for bi-partisan support. Hon. John Briceño- Leader of the Opposition: "We on this side of the House we will always stand up for Belize. But at the same time we also have an obligation to the people we represent in our constituencies and also this country to be able to get into a meaningful debate whenever these bills are presented on to us. We're trying to pass legislation to prevent this man to come after our assets, something that I fully support that we have to protect our foreign reserves and we can't allow this man who from time to time behaves like a predator coming after us. It's not that point. But the point that I am making is that it is just not right. It is just not fair that the Prime Minister and his government throw this at us without us really sitting down and studying properly."

PM Says The Reserves May Still Be Within Reach Of Vulture Funds
So while there was rare show of bi partisanship - it doesn't mean the reserves are all completely secured from the Ashcroft Axis. As the PM outlined in an interview, it's safe for now, but there are very real threats out there - both to the reserves and to the currency peg:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister: "I hope and believe that with what was done today, I expect that the senate will vote similarly. I'm hoping and believing that after the bill is signed into law, it will certainly act to deter those that may have been thinking of going after the reserves. So I feel relatively comfortable that we are in a safe place. I was just trying to, in terms of the title of that famous book of the French revolution, reach a place of greater safety. I need to repeat that this can't stop people who are not within our jurisdiction from making an attempt. The law is effective in the context of what we know is currently in play, but for example, suppose you were talking about vulture funds. They is no way we can get at the operators/owners of those vulture funds, if they were to be some assignment of this award to a vulture fund."

GOB Also Ringfences Its Assets
And there's an accompanying piece of legislation that got less attention today. It's called the Crown Proceedings Act and it seeks to protect the government's property - not the reserves - from being claimed in settlement of any award. The Prime Minister explained: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "So now, this particular bill, if it passes will make clear that no one can properly enforce abroad an arbitral award, once that award has declared unconstitutional, illegal and void by our courts. We are obliged to do everything we can to protect not juts Belize, but the Caribbean from this sort of depredation. And so what this bill is saying is that in circumstances where an award has been pronounced upon by our courts negatively, in circumstances where an award has been ruled out of order and unconstitutional, anybody who seeks an award that's made against the crown, against the government, anybody who seeks to enforce that award not withstanding our pronouncements by our court, anybody who seeks to enforce that award abroad will also be guilty of an offence."

Nanes-Schnitzer Caught In Mexico
David Nanes Schnitzer, the Mexican Belizean Fugitive who cause the Government an international embarrassment, has been recaptured by Interpol. He's the Fraudster wanted in Mexico and the US who was caught in Belize, but skipped bail and fled the country. Well, Mexican news outlets are reporting that he was picked up yesterday by Interpol at the Mexico City International Airport. Authorities say that he had arrived from Havana, Cuba. He was carrying travel documents, such as passports, driver's licenses and other official documents which identified him under another name. He has since been taken into custody until the Mexicans can prepare the proper documentation for a formal arrest.

Police Pickup Pileup
A police officer crashed one of their pickups into a civilian vehicle, causing it to flip. It happened at around mile 11 on the Hummingbird Highway some time after 9 this morning. Police Corporal Branson Peters was driving an Isuzu D-max pickup and in the vehicle with him at the time was Petrona Coy, a finance officer from Placencia. They were driving from Dangriga to Belmopan, when they crashed into a black Suzuki Vitara, which was being driven at the time by Robert Wiebe, a US Retiree. Corporal Peters' version is that the Vitara was heading in the direction as he was, but the driver suddenly turned left, causing him to collide into the left side. Police didn't say what happened to the Robert Wiebe and his wife, Joelene, but the D-max flipped, causing Petrona Coy to suffer injuries to the shoulder.

PM Dodges On Senate Inquiry
The Senate Inquiry into Immigration irregularities, it's been peeling back layer after layer of corruption and misfeasance at the Immigration Department between 2011 and 2013. And, there's the very clear evidence of ministerial involvement in some very shady business that was going down at the department. Today we asked the PM to discuss it, but he said he would rather wait until it was all over:... Jules Vasquez, 7News: "Have you been apprised or kept abreast of the hearings, the senate hearings and the rather grim revelations of corruption that pertain at immigration department?" Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "Well, I better take the position of the speaker. Can we wait until the inquiry is concluded and the report is submitted before you ask me to comment in any detail?"

Teachers and GOB Go To Mediation, All Sides Mum
On December 16, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin ordered the Ministry of Education and the Belize National Teachers Union to try and resolve their dispute through court ordered mediation. That's to settle the lawsuit which the BNTU filed to stop the Ministry from docking the pay for the teachers who participated in that 11-day strike in October of last year. There were 45 days to settle it out-of-court, and today, only 10 days before they have to return before the Chief Justice, the two sides met for the first time. We were there the court, outside the mediation meeting this afternoon, where the parties were back and forth for about 2 hours before we finally left. We couldn't get any other information about how it went. That's because one of the rules of mediation sessions are that they are to be kept strictly confidential, until there is an outcome, and the judge has been properly informed of the outcome.

General says Military Relations With Guate Are Good
In the last few years diplomatic relations between Belize and Guatemala have been growing more and more tense. So, one would expect that military relations would match the political ones, but according to the BDF's Commander, that is not the case. As we showed you last week, joint border patrols continue - this picture was on the Guatemalan military's twitter page. BDF commander General David Jones confirmed as much today, when he told that the relationship between the BDF and the Guatemalan Armed Forces could not be more amiable... Alex Courtenay, 7News: "We recently saw a tweet from the actual Guatemalan armed forces about linking up with the BDF. is that something that we should look to as a positive tweet that even though diplomatic relations may not be very high or very friendly that though militaries from both countries seem to be good with each other." Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "We welcome things like that when the military does things like that because it shows that the problems on the ground is not between the 2 militaries. It's a political issue that we have between both countries. Those link up patrols that they have tweeting about is something that we have been doing for years, over 10 years now. The Belize defense force and the Guatemalan armed forces have been meeting on a quarterly bases and we plan patrols for the next 3 months..."

General Still Hopeful For Otherwise DOA Sarstoon Protocol
General Jones also gave us an update on the progress with the much-delayed Sarstoon Protocol. The agreement is meant to ensure that Belizeans, both military and civilians, can enjoy the use of the Sarstoon River without fear of Guatemalan aggression. Jones says that while the signing of the protocol has hit a bump in the road, he is optimistic that it will pass sometime this year... Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "We were hopeful because we were in progress with regards to reaching that miles stone having that protocol signed in December. Unfortunately 2 months before that there was an incident with a young boy who was fatal wounded in the Chiquibul and the Guatemalans have stated a different stance and they wanted to hold back and wait on getting the protocol signed. We are still waiting for them to come to the table. We trust that they will do it soon. I believe there is gong it be talks either this month or early next month. Foreign affairs of Belizean and Guatemalan in discussions and a way forward with the issues that we have along the border and in particular what's happening along the Sarstoon. After those discussion I expect to hear when we sit down and really discuss what's happening in regards to signing that protocol..."

General Says Southern Waters Safe
We also spoke to Jones about the situation in the South. He explained the BDF's role Belize's Southern waters, and told us his thoughts on amending the Maritime Areas Act to claim all twelve of Belize's territorial waters in the South... Alex Courtenay, 7News: "We know that many Toledo residents have recently been complaining that Sapodilla Ranges, they are not very well policed. Does the BDF have any kind of patrolling around that area?" Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "No, we don't have any aggressive patrol in that area, but if there are any NGO's or there's a public request or any organization request that we do patrols, the BDF responds immediately and we will do it. So if there is any concern they would just send a letter either to the minister of defense headquarters or to myself and we will look into the issue for them."

Can Belize Find Export Rewards in Neighboring Countries?
How can Belize's slumping economy grow? That was the topic of discussion at a workshop today in Belmopan. It's a very broad and complicated matter to address in a workshop setting, but based on the 2016 report issued by the statistical institute of Belize, the primary concern should Belize's exports. As we told you, for 2016, exports declined 25% percent compared to 2015, and todays export boosting workshop held at the NEMO office focused on this aspect of the economy. The lead coordinator told us more about the workshop and how Belize's neighbors are very much a part of the conversation. So what can Belize do to boost its economy ? What are our options . The lead coordinator explained the relationship between Belize's economic performance and our industries while the guest professor explored possible options for Belize This workshop is part of a series of consultations.

FBI Sets Up Office in Belize For Anne Swaney Info
The US Embassy in Belmopan announced today that the FBI is offering a $10,000 US reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the culprits who murdered American Anne Swaney. She's the US Journalist who was killed in January of last year, while she was vacationing at the Nabitunich Resort in the Cayo District. A statement from the US Embassy says, quote, "The FBI is assisting with interviews and has submitted items of evidence for scientific analysis to the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia. While there are some promising leads in the case, the FBI and the Belize Police Department are asking the public for assistance in apprehending the subject or subjects responsible for this terrible crime." Her colleagues from ABC News in the US have been closely following the story, and this is their latest report: The US Embassy is asking anyone with relevant information to contact the FBI in Belize at telephone 637-9915. Additionally you can reach them at their local office in the United States, or any US Embassy or consulate around the world.

More Soldiers, More Safety
Today the BDF celebrated its 39th Anniversary and the Passing Out Parade of the Force's 62nd Recruit Intake. Commander, Brigadier General David Jones, gave told us about the rigorous training the recruits had to go through to become fully fledged soldiers... The new recruits also displayed their skills for the crowd in a hostage rescue scenario, mock battle, and taekwondo showcase.

PM Indicates Room For Negotiation With Bondholders
As we told you last night, the government of Belize has extended the deadline on its consent solicitation offer from yesterday, January 26th to next Friday February third. While extending the deadline suggests that the bondholders aren't biting, we note that government hasn't changed what it's offering, suggesting that they may have a stronger hand than they care to show at this time. Today, the Prime Minister suggested as much:... Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "That came about, because without saying too much, we certainly have come away with the impression that there is a willingness on the part of the bondholders, the creditor committee and their advisors to discuss matters. I don't want to put it any higher than that. I don't want to misrepresent them. But it's not that we just took it into our heads that this thing ought to be extended. We are extending for what we feel is good and sufficient caused."

PM Hangs Head On Puerto Azul
And today the PM also had to comment on the Puerto Azul embarrassment. As has been widely reported, that mega-project turned into one big scam. It was orchestrated using Belizean officials and the Prime Minister's wife, basically as props to market what turned out to be a Ponzi scheme. Today the PM said, basically, these things happen:...

Senate Inquiry Won't Be Debated In House, Not Now
And back to the House floor, as we showed you earlier the Prime Minister didn't want to talk about the Senate Probe into Immigration irregularities while it is ongoing. That may be a cop out - but in the business of the House, it was a standing order that prevented it when John Briceno tried to speak on the adjournment:.. Briceno ended up speaking instead on the economy.

From Monkey River To Micronesia
Usually when you hear about fisheries workshops or trainings, those being trained are our local fishermen or fisheries officers and the instructors are usually international consultants. Well the roles have changed with a peer exchange program led by MarAlliance. Monkey River Fisher, 24 year old Evan Cuevas is far afield, in the western Pacific island of Micronesia right now teaching a class of fishers about sustainable lobster fishing. That's an island state almost eight thousand miles from Belize, a very rare opportunity for Cuevas. Yesterday, via Skype the Founder of MarAlliance , who is in San Pedro , told us more about the focus of this organization and how this exchange program ties into their mission. MarAlliance was established in 2014. We also spoke to a lead researcher in Micronesia Dr. Kevin Rhodes via Skype. He discussed the grave situation in Micronesia and how their fishers will benefit from this exchange. Dr. Rhodes is in Micronesia with Evan Cuevas and he also told us about his experience

A House Big-Up For "Becks"
And, finally, tonight, we have one brief clip from today's house meeting - which touched a nice note at the end. Usually that's when opposition members speak on matters of national importance, but today that matter was Rebecca Rath, who's going up for Miss Universe on Sunday night. The two Stann Creek Representatives urged Belizeans to vote for her in the official online poll:... You can find the official poll at missuniverse.com. And of course you can see the pageant at 6:00 on Sunday night right here on channel 7.


Re: Today's Belize News: January 28, 2017 [Re: Marty] #521238
01/28/17 12:50 AM
01/28/17 12:50 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 58,984
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

LOVE FM

Pope Francis appoints new Bishop for Belize City Belmopan
Reverend Father Lawrence Sydney Nicasio is the new Roman Catholic Bishop of Belize City and Belmopan. The new Bishop elect was born in Dangriga on September 5, 1956. Nicasio attended Belize Teacher’s College where he received a trained teacher’s diploma. He went on to Cardinal Glennon Seminary in St. Louis Missouri where he received a […]

Belizean officials confronted by Mexican smugglers
A video which surfaced on Facebook shows a very heated confrontation between Belizean customs officers and smugglers believed to be Mexicans. The video shows smugglers armed with machetes fighting for bails of products that they had stock piled on the international bridge that links Belize and Mexico. This problem of smugglers illegally transporting goods using […]

SIB releases latest figures, consumer prices continue to rise
The Statistical Institute of Belize released its December figures yesterday. Figures show that on average, consumer prices were up by one point one percent. An inflation rate of point seven percent was recorded for 2016. Orange Walk Town and Belmopan recorded the highest inflation rates for the month at two point eight and two point […]

More revelations from Senate Select Committee hearing
Yesterday the former Director of Immigration Ruth Meighan appeared before the Senate Special Select Committee to answer tough questions. During the session, Senators Aldo Salazar and Eamon Courtenay drilled Meighan about the Jin Chen Han application. According to the Auditor General, Jin Chen Han received a visa one month before receiving a nationality. In her […]

Director of Health Services speaks on acquisition of pharmaceuticals
The Ministry of Health has made moves to increase its ability to acquire pharmaceuticals from foreign companies. There are about 60 registered importers in Belize and some have expressed concerns over the Ministry’s move to remove them from the equation. Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, explained what the Ministry’s intention is. Dr. Marvin […]

HPV virus vaccine program proceeding despite some opposition
In November of last year, the Ministry of Health announced plans to vaccinate four thousand young girls from standard four with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine. The Ministry said immunization is one of the most successful public health interventions in the prevention of various communicable diseases and since HPV is linked to cervical cancer, […]

Director of Health Services updates on Zika cases
Last year, the Ministry of Health announced that there were 581 suspected Zika cases in the country. That figure grew as we entered 2017. According to the Director of Health Service, Dr. Marvin Manzanero, a total of 889 cases of which 816 were by clinical suspicion and 73 were confirmed by laboratory testing. Testing was […]

Foreign Minister leads delegation to CELAC meeting
Belize’s Foreign Minister, Wilfred Elrington headed a delegation to the fifth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC). Heads of Government endorsed the Political Declaration of Punta Cana fifth CELAC Summit along with its 20 Special Declarations and the CELAC Action Plan. The Political Declaration […]

Men accused of robbing credit union makes court appearance
Harry Arzu reporting… “On June 4th 2012 in broad daylight the Toledo Teachers Credit Union located in Bella Vista in the Toledo District was robbed of some $36,000.00 as a result four men are currently being tried in the Southern Session of the Supreme Court in Dangriga. Among the lawyers who are defending the accused, […]

Ministry of Health employees participate in educational session on Belize Guatemala dispute
Employees of the Ministry of Health participated in a two hour education session on the Belize-Guatemala claim and the ICJ option. The session took place yesterday in Belmopan and was facilitated by Ambassador Stuart Leslie of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Director of Health Services, Dr. Marvin Manzanero says he found it necessary for his […]

Amandala

Ruth Meighan’s electronic signature in Immigration system
Former Immigration Director, Ruth Meighan, made her second appearance today in front of the Senate Select Committee as they investigated the sensational findings of the Auditor General’s Special Report into the Passport, Visa and Nationality Departments for the period 2010-2013. This time, however, an officer assigned to the Special Branch Unit of the Police Department was present in the gallery as Meighan testified under oath. It was revealed by the Auditor General that thousands of immigration documents were issued with massive irregularities. Today, Meighan stirred uneasily as she alleged to the Senate Select Committee that almost every single passport since she served as Director from 2010 to 2013 were issued without her knowledge, without her involvement, but simply with an electronic copy of her signature affixed on the passport machine which could have been tampered with by anyone. Here is the dialogue that took place just before that shocking revelation was made:

Ashcroft goes for Belize’s jugular!
British billionaire Lord Michael Ashcroft on Monday went back to US courts asking for an order to force the financially-embattled Government of Belize to pay him US$50 million—this after Prime Minister Dean Barrow publicly vowed not to pay a penny towards the arbitration awards, racked up following disputes over a set of 2005 contracts which included tax concessions given to the wealthy telecommunications and banking mogul by the former People’s United Party administration. In Parliament on Friday, January 13, Barrow said that, “If [the Ashcroft companies] make ANY effort to go after [Belize’s assets] in the States… which we don’t have, but just the fact of any attempt …I will consider that an act of economic war and all options thereafter will be on the table.” The Government has taken the position that the Central Bank’s foreign holdings are not the property of the Government of Belize and so cannot be used to pay the arbitration awards; however, Amandala is reliably informed that both the Government of Belize and the Central Bank of Belize have been warned that Ashcroft intends to move against Belize’s foreign currency reserves, mostly held in US banks.

Immigration free-for-all!
Since the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) lost the 2012 General Election by 812 votes, it has long accused the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) of voter fraud, caused by major malpractices at the Immigration Department. At the House of Representatives meeting held in December 2016, current PUP leader, John Briceño, accused the ruling UDP government of that fraud and even claimed that the PUP would have been in government from 2012 if it was not for irregular practices in the Immigration Department. “I was given 64 pages of, names of people who got their nationality, between October 2011 and February 2012. Over 2,000 nationalities were issued just before the election. Here we have the names, Mr. Speaker, and I can give you a copy so you all can see. Over 2,000 just before the election,” he had revealed. Today at the Senate hearing into the findings of the Auditor General’s Special Audit report, former Director of Immigration, Ruth Meighan, conceded that many illegal immigrants voted in the 2012 General Election.

Ruth Meighan “didn’t know and didn’t care” about Ministers’ Immigration visits
In 2013, Prime Minister Dean Barrow held a press conference in which he urged his Cabinet ministers to desist from a “visa hustle” inside the Immigration Department. Barrow went on the record to say, “If I hear you intervene 10 times and I hear you intervene 20 times, what I am to think? Except that you’re involved in a hustle. If you hang out with Alibaba, you must be one of the 40 thieves.” The Senator representing the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), Eamon Courtenay, quizzed former Immigration Director Ruth Meighan at Wednesday’s Senate hearing about the intervention of elected UDP Ministers in the visa application process. The interchange between Courtenay and Meighan went as follows: Senator Eamon Courtenay: “Why would a Minister write you with respect to a Chinese individual who obviously the Minister doesn’t know?”

Belize Customs officers clash with illegal Mexican traders at the Mexico-Belize Bridge
Video footage gone viral captured Belizean Custom officers and a group of Mexican men in a heated confrontation on the bridge at the Mexico-Belize border. The confrontation occurred on the Subtineiente Lopez Bridge and caused a pause in the flow of traffic from around 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. A senior Customs officer spoke to our newspaper this evening and informed us that they had received intelligence that the Mexican men who later became involved in the confrontation had loaded several bundles of merchandise on the Belize side of the bridge to avoid Mexican authorities. However, the items were scattered over the Belize side of the bridge in plain view. According to that officer, this practice has been occurring for a while, but for the last 2-3 weeks, Mexican nationals from the Los Pelones drug gang in Chiapas had been smuggling goods from the Belize Free Zone into Mexico. He told us that his officers had to take action because if they didn’t, these men would have established their operations there and it would have been difficult to remove them after a period of time.

Coast Guard FC takes CYDP Peace Cup Championship
They were heavy favorites, despite a 3-3 draw with Tut Bay FC in game 1 of the Finals series last week Saturday at the MCC; and yesterday at the same venue in the decisive Finals Game 2, Coast Guard FC proved they were the best team in the tournament, defeating Tut Bay, 4-1, and claiming the CYDP Peace Cup championship. In the preliminary third-place game, Survivor FC emerged 3-2 winners in overtime, after they had ended up tied 2-2 with Kelly Street FC in regulation. Survivor’s Tarique “Hamma” Ciego netted all 3 goals (6’, 97’ & 106’) for Survivors, while Kareem Myers (8’) and Christopher Pipersburgh (95’) scored for Kelly Street. The MCC had as big a crowd as it has seen in a long time, and the CYDP Peace Cup championship game started with an eerie similarity to the 3-3 tie the previous weekend. Adgar Adderly (11’) and Steven Martinez (20’) had given Coast Guard a 2-nil lead, when Tut Bay’s Brian Martinez (27’ PK) converted a penalty to cut the lead in half. Would Tut Bay make a dramatic comeback like they had done the week before? The thought was short-lived, as Coast Guard added a goal from Eredito Valencio (41’) and another from Steven Martinez (85’), to make it a comfortable 4-1 lead; and that’s the way ended. 4-1, Coast Guard FC over Tut Bay FC, for the CYDP Peace Cup championship.

Changing of the guard
The focus in Belize football shifts this weekend to the start of our Premier League of Belize (PLB) Closing Season 2016-2017, but we would like to give big respect to our players who represented us with the Belize Jaguars in the recently completed Copa Centroamericana in Panama. For some of our veteran players, this was likely their last time with the national team, as a new crop of young players are coming into their own, having benefited from the guidance of the veterans over the past few years, and are showing more confidence in their performance on the international stage. Below we record the line-ups for the Jaguars and some game details (from concacaf.com) for the last two games, against Nicaragua on Friday, January 20, and against Honduras on Sunday, January 22.

Secondary schools football, NEBL, PLB and Mayor’s Cup
In today’s result from the Dangriga Zone secondary schools football tournament at the Carl Ramos Stadium, Ecumenical won over ANRI by a score of 8 goals to nil. However, information received from NSSSA executive, Dangriga branch, Mr. Gilbert “Bat” Palacio, states that ANRI was playing with over-age players; so the games on Monday between Delille Academy males and ANRI, and also the game today between ANRI and Ecumenical, was won by default, which was 3 points and 3 goals for both Ecumenical and Delille Academy. After the game on Monday between Delille Academy males and ANRI, and also today between Ecumenical males vs ANRI, after the default, the standings look like this: Delille Academy males has 7 points and 5 goals, while Ecumenical males has 7 points and 6 goals. They are tied with points, but Ecumenical males, is leading with one goal difference, since goal average counts. So, this Friday it’s a must win for Delille Academy males. Ecumenical only needs a draw and they advance to the District Regional Finals along with Delille Academy females, which will be next weekend, February 4, at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence, hosted by George Town Technical High. The Nationals will be in San Pedro this year.

OWFA U-10 Finals and 1st Division Amateur Semifinals results
The Orange Walk Football Association (OWFA) U-10 Finals were played at the Technical Field in Orange Walk Town, where third place was awarded to Trial Farm Crocodiles; and in the Finals for First Place Landy’s Junior won 3-0 over Minions, with goals from Mark Bainton and Raul “Rafita” Witzil, Jr. (2). Congratulations to Landy’s, and to other participating teams – Minions, San Lazaro, Trial Farm Crocodiles, as well as parents and the OWFA for the successful tournament. The semifinals of the OWFA Amateur League 1st Division Tournament took place on Sunday, January 22, at the Louisiana Field. In the opener, Trinidad FC and Progresso United ended 2-2 in regulation, and 4-4 after overtime. Trinidad goals came from Traivon Martinez, Rolando Bobadilla, Nair Chan and Justin Gomez; while Progresso United got 2 goals from Roger Correa and 1 each from Hector Carlos, Jr. and Tyrone Baptist. In the penalty shootout, Progresso United prevailed, 4-3, and thus advances to the Finals.

Eagles U-20 Club hosts basketball games in Santa Elena, Cayo
The Eagles U-20 Basketball Club, along with Venus Hotel and Atlantic Bank, hosted a Basketball Marathon on Saturday, January 21, at the Rotary Basketball Court in Santa Elena Town, Cayo District. Six teams took part, and at the end of the Marathon, first place was taken by Savages; second place went to Santa Elena Fire Fighters; and third was Venus Hotel Eagles U-20. The Eagles U-20 Basketball Club would like to thank Mr. Matthew Preston, owner of Venus Hotel, and Mrs. Tricia Gill and Atlantic Bank Limited. The Eagles U-20 will be hosting Santa Elena Town vs Chetumal on Friday, January 27, at the Santa Elena Sports Complex, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Pro-American politics in Belize – a brief history
Why is it that the United States wants Belize to be a satellite state to Guatemala? It is because Uncle Sam wants to ensure that Belize is not used by any whom in any way to undermine or destabilize the racist oligarchy in Guatemala. In Central America, Guatemala is to Washington as Israel is to Washington in the Middle East – the United States’ most important ally in every respect. When the anti-colonial movement began in British Honduras after World War II, leading to the establishment of the People’s United Party (PUP) in 1950, anti-colonial Belizeans were anti-British. That is a given. But in addition, there was a significant pro-American sentiment in the ranks of the PUP, so much so that the PUP used to march with American flags in their parades in the early years. The pro-American sentiment within the PUP derived in large part from the experiences and perspectives of Belizean workers who had worked in U.S.-controlled Panama before, during, and after World War II; from the fact that Belize’s wealthiest promoter of anti-colonial feeling, Robert Sydney Turton, wanted to remove the British tariff regime in the colony so that he could trade more freely and more profitably with American companies; and because the Roman Catholic priests and nuns who were leaders in the Catholic primary and secondary schools in British Honduras were all American citizens, many of Irish and German extraction, the Irish and German peoples having been hostile to the British for many, many decades.

The Historical Links Of John Glenn And Charles Lindbergh To Belize
John Glenn circled the earth three times on February 20, 1962 in the Mercury spacecraft conceived, invented and designed by a Belizean-born American scientist/mechanical engineer named Maxime Faget (pronounced Fahzhay). Senator Glenn was an American aviator, engineer and astronaut who died earlier this month at age 95. Dr. Maxim Faget, who was responsible for the Mercury spacecraft, was born in Dangriga, Stann Creek district on August 26, 1921. To find out how Max Faget was born in Stann Creek we have to go back to World War I. The United Kingdom was fighting the Great War against Germany, Austria and others and suffered tremendous casualties – 876,084 dead and 167,172 wounded. All doctors who were British subjects were needed at the front. There was a British Colonial Service Marine Hospital in New Orleans where Max’s father, Dr. Guy Henry Faget, worked as a tropical disease specialist. He and his wife, Isabelle Le Blance-Faget, answered the call to go to Belize for 5 years. When Dr. Maxime Faget visited Belize some years ago before his death, he brought with him a Belize flag which he had sent to the moon. The flag used to be displayed in the Government House/House of Culture in Belize City.

Increase in Social Security contributions under review
The schedule of Social Security payments is undergoing a review which will likely see workers—and in particular those in higher income brackets—pay more in contributions but, according to the Social Security Board, the change would also enable the SSB to increase payments to workers and pensioners. In an interview with Amandala last February, chairman of the Social Security Board (SSB), Doug Singh, had said that there were plans for consultations on proposals to increase the wage bands, and also to raise the ceiling of insurable earnings from $320 weekly to about $500 weekly. At the time, the first 5% increase in pension payments was in-train, and another 5% had been pledged for 2017. Singh told us today that there has been no increase in Social Security contributions since 2001, and the SSB’s actuary, Hernando Montas, has said that in order for the fund to maintain equilibrium, that adjustments are needed. He said that the actuary does not recommend another increase in pension payments until the necessary adjustments are made; but added that an equitable framework will be worked out through national consultation.

Vatican appoints Fr. Lawrence Sydney Nicasio as Bishop of Belize City-Belmopan
In an announcement issued today, the Vatican said that Fr. Lawrence Sydney Nicasio, a Garifuna priest, has been appointed as Bishop of Belize City-Belmopan, to succeed Bishop Dorick McGowan Wright, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese had been accepted by the Pope. Nicasio, 60, the pastor at Holy Redeemer Cathedral in Belize City, was ordained on June 16, 1989. Information published by the Roman Catholics indicates that Nicasio obtained a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, United States of America, and a Master of Divinity in the Kenrich College Seminary, in the same archdiocese. As for his appointments in Belize, he has served in Belmopan, Orange Walk, San Ignacio and Belize City.

The Reporter

FBI offers sizeable reward for concrete leads on murder of news producer
The U.S Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), officially launched an award and contact number in Belize for information on the murder of a 39 year-old U.S citizen, Anne Swaney, who was murdered while on vacation in Belize one year ago. The official launch was done […]

Police vehicle totalled in traffic mishap
A great many people believe that “blood thinners” actually dilute the blood, but anticoagulant and antiplatelet medications don’t. They merely make it harder for blood to clot, and this helps prevent heart attacks and strokes. Anticoagulants, such as heparin or warfarin work on chemical reactions […]

What people should know about “blood thinners”
A great many people believe that “blood thinners” actually dilute the blood, but anticoagulant and antiplatelet medications don’t. They merely make it harder for blood to clot, and this helps prevent heart attacks and strokes. Anticoagulants, such as heparin or warfarin work on chemical reactions […]

Muslims say militant acts against society are not linked to them
By Marion Ali, Assistant Editor The Muslim community, specifically the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect, has disassociated itself with reports last week that an Islamic militant killed in the Philippines the week before may have relatives in Belize. Mohammad Sadique, a missionary with the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Belize told the Reporter […]

Belize has second most spectacular beach worldwide, says National Geographic
Belize has been rated the second most spectacular beach in the world, according to the National Geographic’s latest list of top scenic spots that ranged from the idyllic, to the unusual, to the ecologically friendly. Belize’s South Water Caye Reserve found favour for the integrity […]

BCCI to GOB, “No need to raise taxes”
Given the difficult economic outlook Belize is facing for 2017, the Belize Chamber of commerce and Industry is calling on the Government of Belize to keep from raising taxes I the new fiscal year. BCCI President, Nikita Usher, explained that the chamber has prepared a comprehensive list […]

Government departments gained in labour market information systems
Representatives from both the public and private sector participated in a week-long tanning session, on Labour Market Information Systems. The International Labour Organization, in collaboration with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), hosted the training at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel from January 23-26. Dr. William House, […]

BSWMA says garbage transfer continues as usual without PASA
The Belize Solid waste management authority sent out a release last week Friday assuring the general public that transfer of solid waste materials from the transfer stations to the landfill is ongoing. Communication officer Tyron Chimilio spoke to the Reporter on Wednesday, January 25 where he […]

GSU raid uncover 54 parcels of suspected cannabis
Eight persons were charged for drug offenses after the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) conducted a search on a home on Lavender Street that yielded a sizable weed bust. Reports are that around 5:10 p.m on Monday January 13, 2017 members of the GSU executed a search […]

Motorist dead after colliding into lamp post
Around midnight on Friday, January 20, a nineteen year-old motorist lost his life after colliding into a lamppost on the Otro Benque Road in Orange Walk. Reports are that around 11: 59 p.m, Jerry Hernison Martinez was driving his motorbike heading in the direction of Corozal […]

Bishop Doric Resigns! Fr. Larry Nicasio is the new R.C.Bishop
Pope Francis, on Thursday appointed Father Lawrence “Larry” Sydney Nicasio as Bishop of Belize City and Belmopan, to succeed outgoing Bishop Dorick Wright, who resigned earlier this month. Bishop-elect Larry was born in Belize in 1956, and ordained a priest in 1989. He holds a […]

Explosive disclosures of passport fraud reverberate though Senate inquiry
The Government of Belize illegally issued nationality to thousands of immigrants, which may have impacted the 2012 general elections. This is evidence emerging from the ongoing Senate inquiry into improprieties at the Immigration Department. The information came out this week, as Former Director of Immigration […]

Ashcroft pushing US court to act against Belize
Michael Ashcroft is seeking to force the Government of Belize to pay the $117 million arbitration award, after Prime Minister Dean Barrow said publicly that the country “wouldn’t pay a penny.” On Monday, British businessman Michael Ashcroft asked a federal judge in the United States for permission to enforce an award of $117 million against the Government of Belize , saying that Belize has no excuse for non payment., Ashcroft through his companies, is asking the courts to use Belizean assets in the United States to pay the award. “Belize has received more than adequate time to make payment and has steadfastly refused,” BSDL said this week. On January 9, the Us Supreme Court, refused to hear Belize’s appeal against a state court award in the case of Belize v. BCB Holdings Limited et al. and Belize v. Belize Social Development Limited, effectively bringing all litigation in those matters to an end.

FBI offers US$ 10,000 Reward to solve year old murder case
The Federal Bureau of investigation has offered a reward of US $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the death of American newswoman Ann Elizabeth Swaney. Swaney, an executive producer for ABC 7 News, was found floating downstream on the River Mopan on the afternoon of January 15, 2016. She was a guest at the Nabitunich Stone Cottage Resort located near San Jose Succotz. She wanted to go horseback riding along with other house guests on the morning of January 15, but did not join them because there were no more horses available. Her body was only partially clothed when they found her, and reports say she had been strangled. Her body also bore the marks of blunt trauma to the head.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Drug operator of El Chapo for southeastern Mexico and Belize arrested by police
According to El Diario de Yucatan, Roberto Najera also known as “La Gallina” has been arrested by the Mexican State Police. Najera is an alleged operator of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán for southeastern Mexico and Belize. He is also known as the point man that controls drug trafficking in Chiapas, Veracruz, Campeche and Yucatan, as well as being a financial operator of the Sinaloa cartel. He was captured in a road blockade in Tizimín, a city located in the Tizimín Municipality in the Mexican state of Yucatán.

Serious road traffic accident on the Hummingbird Highway this morning
this morning where Branston Peters, a corporal officer in the Police Department reported to them that he was traveling in a police pickup (Isuzu D-Max) with Petrona Coy, a resident from Placencia village about 9:11 a.m. in the direction from Dangriga to Belmopan and upon reaching 11 miles, a Black Suzuki Vitara traveling in the same direction suddenly turned left causing him to collide into the left side. The Vitara was driven at the time by Robert Wiebe; a 65 year-old US national accompanied by his wife Joelene Wiebe, also a US National.

Pope Francisco names new Bishop for Belize
Yesterday, the announcement was made of a new Catholic Bishop for Belize. Pope Francisco named Dangriga native, Father Lawrence Nicasio as the new Bishop of Belize. Nicasio was ordained as priest in 1989 and has served the Catholic church in many capacities including being […]

Blogs

Escape the Snow to These Six Stunning Caribbean Beaches
Ahhh…the Caribbean Sea. If you live in the U.S. or Canada, it’s paradise practically on your doorstep—just a short flight away. The perfect escape from blustery winter weather. Who wouldn’t prefer warm-to-the-touch white sand (or golden sand) on long curving beaches to a neighborhood carpeted in snow and ice? And you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to location. The area we call “The Caribbean” stretches across many borders, and each has its own unique benefits. In Tulúm, Mexico, some of the beaches—which are minutes apart—are rarely visited, while others are fronted by resorts, restaurants, and beach clubs. Here you have the best of both worlds—nature and convenience. It’s the same in Placencia (Belize), Roatán (Honduras), and Bocas del Toro (Panama). There are plenty of spots where you have the beach to yourself and others where you can enjoy an afternoon in the company of new friends. The isolated Corn Islands off the coast of Nicaragua are sparsely-populated—the perfect place to get away from it all. What’s more, cars aren’t allowed. Who needs one anyway when you’re in no rush to get anywhere?

Dining at Hidden Treasure Restaurant
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of downtown San Pedro, is a family owned restaurant dishing out some tasty dinner options. Hidden Treasure Restaurant is located in the Escalante Subdivision, about 1.5 miles south of San Pedro Town, and specializes in Latin American and Caribbean Cuisine. The elegant restaurant offers the perfect setting for romantic dinners. Candlelight showers the rustic dining hall, giving off an intimate feel. With emphasis on locally sourced seafood, Hidden Treasure offers are variety of Surf & Turf dishes. A must try is their uniquely created “Seafood Treasure”. A whole lobster tail with fresh snapper fillet and shrimp, grilled and served with a garlic lemon butter sauce, coconut white rice and charred seasonal grilled veggies. The dish is appropriately named for the bountiful feast you will receive – it’s definitely a “treasure chest” of flavours!

International Sourcesizz

Stunning Miss Universe contestants step out in their National Costumes… and the results are bonkers and brilliant
THE annual Miss Universe competition is underway – and the winner will be crowned in a matter of days. Each nation has put forward their most beautiful and talented competitor to battle it out in the prestigious beauty pageant. The contest is being held in the Philippines this year, following the victory of the current Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach in 2015. Today, the competitors began eyeing each other up in the National Costume showdown. Each pageant finalist stepped out wearing an ostentatious outfit that had been given a cultural twist to represent their heritage. From intricate headdresses, to stunningly embroidered capes, here were some of the most bonkers and brilliant outfits to grace the catwalk...

Prestigious St. Catherine Academy Marks 134th Anniversary
Jan 20, 2017 You probably know or are related to someone who studies or who has passed through the halls of Saint Catherine Academy. The all-girls high school continues as a vanguard institution in education. It currently has an enrollment of six hundred and eighty-five students representing the largest student body in its history. It’s a milestone that adds to the rich history of S.C.A. which today, is celebrating the one hundred and thirty-fourth anniversary. News Five’s Duane Moody reports. Duane Moody, Reporting Saint Catherine Academy was founded in Belize one hundred and thirty-four years ago. The educational institution is a Catholic all girls’ high school established in the Mercy tradition and has turned out prominent women in society. Alumna as well as the Sisters of Mercy gathered today inside the newly built multipurpose auditorium to reflect on what makes the institution different from other facilities. But the celebration is two-fold because the official inauguration of the multipurpose facility takes place today. Principal Salome Tillett says that the project started over a decade ago. Salome Tillett, Principal, St. Catherine Academy “The opening of our building, the official inauguration of our building is such a blessing for us; it’s a dream come true. I don’t know if you recall the many years that we’ve been fundraising for this. Actually I looked back in our records and it started in 2003; so it’s been a long time in the making and I can say that this building belongs to the community of Belize. We had the support of our parents, our students, teachers, their families over all these years that we have been working on it.” There are still some finishing touches being made to the facility that has multiple courts, a stage, as well as changing rooms and other features. When completed, the building will cost approximately three point five million dollars.

Videos

  • Scene-stealers from the Miss Universe national costume show, 2min. Miss Belize Universe made it in CNN Philippines' round up of "scene-stealers" in her national costume! Rebecca Rath's Scarlet Macaw costume also made it in the Daily Mail (UK), The Sun (UK) and USA Today!

  • Giant Grouper Speared By Local In Belize, 35sec. A local from Belize bringing in a very large grouper that he had speared earlier that day.

  • Riot At Belize / Mexico Border, 2min. A riot ensued at the Belize / Mexico Border when Belize Custom Officers attempted to stop Mexican Smugglers from taking huge bales of clothes from the Commercial Duty Free Zone into Mexico as they do on a daily basis.

  • Belize 2016, 2.5min.

  • Chinese New Year Customs And Traditions, 48min. on Open Your Eyes...

  • Belize Now! - January 27, 2017, 30min. Government of Belize Press Office

  • The BDF celebrates 39th Anniversary & Recruit #62 Passing Out Parade, 1min.

  • Belize No Limit Vs Belmopan Bandits, 2.5hr.

  • A DAY IN BELIZE CITY, 6.5min.

  • Tarpons! Snorkeling in Belize, 1/2min. Snorkeling at the Aquarium Reef near South Water Caye, Belize 2016.

  • Flying Around Belize- preflight, take-off and approach!, 3min. Short film on flying in Belize. You see the airport on Caye Caulker, the lack of preflight checks, yet none-the-less, a smooth take-off, flight and landing. Flight was on Tropic Air and I must say they were well organized, friendly and extremely helpful- even set us up with a rent-a-car on short when we landed, they had a guy waiting there to take us to the 4x4, which we needed heading to Tikal in the rainy season!

  • Cruising Caye Caulker, Belize - the island life!, 3.5min. Caye Caulker, Belize (In Central America on the Caribbean sea) is one of the most fascinating vacation island I have been on. It is small, relatively un-developed but yet still very homey, safe and attractive. The local people on the island are perhaps one of the highlights, with of course snorkeling, diving, boating and eating some of the others! The native language of Belize is English (that is right, not Spanish) and many will also speak Creole as well, especially on the island and in Belize City. Here we are getting driven, like in a taxi, from one place to another. That is our hotel we stayed at, The Iguana Reef, which is excellent and surely the best hotel on the island with swimming pool and air conditioning, not to mention a lovely bar. There are no cars or trucks on the island and primarily only modified golf carts, which adds to making it an even more relaxed atmosphere! The ride is sometimes bumpy, sorry for the shaking video here and there!


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