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Specials and Events
Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and other specials
The San Pedro Sun
Hol Chan asks residents to refrain from interfering with turtle nests and hatchlings
The 2018 turtle nesting season is at its peak on Ambergris Caye, with nests hatching along the northern coastline. The number of nests has been increasing annually and some turtles have been nesting near areas with development. At such, nearby residents/visitors might stumble into a hatching nest and be tempted to help the baby turtles reach the sea. This action, well-intended as it may be, is discouraged by the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, who urges the public when discovering a nest with baby turtles to contact them at 226-2247 any day during normal working hours. They advise that for the well-being of the turtles and to keep accurate statistics for their marine turtle program, people need to avoid coming into contact with the nest or the hatchlings.
First MMA tournament to debut in San Pedro
Island fans of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) are in for a treat, as Martin Dawson and his Pit Fighters training school, along with Primmates Chetumal training school, and Chetumal Xtreme Cage (CXC) League will host the first ever MMA tournament on the island on Saturday, October 20th, at 8PM at the Honourable Louis Sylvestre Sporting Complex. The event will see several different matches with fighters from Belize and Mexico.
An official event to announce the MAA tournament will be held on Sunday, September 2nd at Caribbean Villas in San Pedro Town at 4PM, which will include a meet and greet session with the fighters representing Belize. Tickets for the event will be on sale, starting at $25 for general admission and $35 for VIP seats.
U.S Government donates counter-narcotics equipment to the Ministry of National Security
In an effort to help Belize combat the war against drug trafficking, on Tuesday, August 28th the Government of the United States of America via its embassy in Belize donated counter-narcotics equipment to the Ministry of National Security, including an upgraded secondary entry control point to the Belize Defense Force (BDF) base at Prices Barracks in Ladyville. The equipment, which will aid the Belize Coast Guard (BCG) and the BDF to counter-attack illicit drug activities, comes from the United States Southern Command and funded by the U.S counter-narcotics program office. The equipment was handed over by the U.S Embassy Senior Defense Official Lieutenant/Defense Attache Colonel Eldridge Singleton to BCG Commandant Admiral John Borland and Deputy Commander of the BDF Colonel Azariel Loria during a ceremony at the BCG headquarters in Belize City.
Fish Right, Eat Right Program certifies restaurants in San Pedro Town
The Fish Right, Eat Right program has certified various restaurants on Ambergris Caye for their efforts in promoting sustainable seafood. Fish Right, Eat Right Program was created with the goal to have seafood purveyors become part of the solution to managing and protecting Belize’s natural resources, by agreeing to purchase only seafood that is legally caught, and follow the best management practices, reducing the market for juvenile seafood products and other unsustainable practices. The program is implemented by the Belize Fisheries Department (BFD) and Belize Tourism Board (BTB), along with the support of Belize Federation of Fishers, Belize Fishermen Cooperative Association, Belize Tourism Industry Association, Oceana Belize, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and Environmental Defense Fund.
Pic of the Week: Christina Was Worried She Would Attract Too Much Attention Passing Through Town
Their work is HARD, DIRTY AND DANGEROUS! But they love it! We cracked a joke at Christina Manzi that she would not attract any attention laying on top of an eleven foot crocodile while they drove it past downtown San Pedro! The 'beast' actually measured 11.5ft and it took the crocodile hunters from ACES about an hour to round up before they could load it onto their vehicle. (Ambergris Today was there to video the entire process) Success was at hand when they released the beautiful creature miles away from civilization in North Ambergris Caye in its natural habitat. Below is what Chris and Christina posted to explain this particular capture and release:
Belizean Melvin Arevalo Needs Your Vote For Unsung Hero Award
Founded in 2009 by travel visionaries Serge Dive and Sarah Ball, PURE Life Experiences is a hand-selected global community of leading experts in experiential travel – including high-end suppliers; Private Travel Designers serving a high-net-worth clientele; and renowned members of the travel press.
The PURE Awards is a celebration of their community and their extraordinary power to Change Worlds. Pure has an expert judging panel, featuring renowned, experientially minded travel journalists, has whittled down nearly 300 entries to create the final shortlist. In this shortlist you can find Belize’s Melvin Arevalo, an accredited ornithologist and shares his deep knowledge of the birds of Belize with guests.
Misc Belizean Sources
Press Release-Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development – August 31, 2018
This letter to the country is a full page ad in today's San Pedro Sun newspaper. It is for immediate release and asks the important question -- If the guides and the people and the businesses of Ambergris Caye are against the Cayo Rosario development in Hol Chan Marine Reserve - and even our local politicians say they are against it - then WHO is pushing for this project?
Stand against large scale dredging and over-the-water structures in Belize's Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
In 2015, our Area Representative Manuel Heredia JR and San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero successfully proposed that the Hol Chan Marine Reserve be expanded to include over 135 square miles of seagrass beds, wetlands, mangrove cayes, shoals and flats. The purpose? To forever preserve an invaluable nursery for our Belize Barrier reef and safeguard vital habitats for the protected and economically lucrative, permit, tarpon and bonefish species.
But now this very area is in immediate danger, threatened by a development project on and around a tiny mangrove island named Cayo Rosario, located well within the Hol Chan Marine Reserve.
Obama Foundation Scholars
It’s that time of the year again! Positive change on a global scale begins with just one person: you. You're committed to making a difference—and you already have.
Join our community of international leaders and work together to tackle the world's most pressing problems.
As an Obama Foundation Scholar, you'll take part in a one-of-a-kind program that combines a Master of Arts degree at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy with an extraordinary scholarship that includes access to exceptional experiences outside the classroom with the Obama Foundation. You’ll be part of a network of rising leaders. It's an experience that is sure to change you—and will help you change the world.
Mr. Happy's Fundraiser on Caye Caulker
Saturday, Sept. 1st, 11am Central Park
Vacancy at Caves Branch for Sales Specialist
on the Hummingbird highway just outside of Belmopan
Power outage scheduled for Sunday, September 2 from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to affect a portion of Belize City
Entire Lake Independence area including Morning Glory Street, Mahogany Street between Central American Boulevard and Sittee Street, St. Jude Street, Hondo Street; Mopan Street, Nargusta Street, Sarstoon Street, Courtney’s Crescent; Mahogany Street between Casuarina Street and Holy Emmanuel Street including Black Orchid Street, Jasmine Street, Periwinkle Street and Hibiscus Street; Marigold, Fern and Croton Lanes; Tibruce, Carnation, Heart, Scaber, and Venus Flytrap Streets; Partridge Street, Casuarina Street, Western and Electric Avenues; Violet, Police, Sunflower, Gordon, Canondate, Hyde, Raleigh, Jones, Diego, Balan and Riverside Streets; Mokay Boulevard, Complex Avenue; Cumberbatch, Gladden, Brown and Giles Streets; Lacroix Boulevard, Rootsville; Central American Boulevard, portion Cemetery Road, Daker Street, Coffin Street, Elston Kerr Street, Rosalie Street, Antelope Street Extension, Iguana Street Extension, Pelican Street Extension, Raccoon Street Extension, Sister Mary Benedict Street, Neal Pen Road Extension, Arlington Drive, Trinity Street, Unity Street, Louise Bevans Street, Freedom Street, South Creek Road, Ramsey Street, Muhammed Ali Street, Benbow Street, Rudan Street, Neal Pen Road, Haynes Street, Kraal Road, Supal Street, Boots Crescent, Monroe Street, Matura Street and Doris Brooks Street.
Ministry of Works Hosts Environmental and Social Safeguard Training with Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and European Union (EU) Support
Today, August 31st, the Ministry of Works, through the George Price Highway Rehabilitation Project, concluded a three-day workshop on Environmental and Social Safeguards.
The training was held at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development in Belmopan. Approximately 35 participants attended the training which included various government ministries and departments, utility companies, the two contractors for the on-going civil works, and the specialized supervision firm for the George Price Highway Rehabilitation Project.
BELIZE OUTSOURCING SERVICES: Outlook and Opportunities
Belize’s location has proven to serve not only as a strategic point for the export of goods to North America, CARICOM and Latin America (LAC) but also for its regional recognition as both a nearshore and offshore destination for the export of services to various markets. Since the establishment of the first contact center in 2005, Belize has experienced over 80% industry growth and currently hosts twenty-four (24) established operators offering various services in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) and emerging areas in Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO).
The development of this sector is attributed to Belize’s talented English speaking labor force with bilingual capabilities and its close proximity to North and Central America, a strategic location in line with similar time zones.
RefugiARTe Exhibition Launch
The SISE HoC is launching the RefugiARTe Exhibition next Friday, September 7th, at 7:00pm.
A First! The “Nay’s” Had It
This evening in Belmopan, history was made in the House of Representatives. For the first time ever - the "nay's" had it when the government side voted down a bill brought by the Prime Minister. We're talking of course about the supplementary appropriations bill for 95.6 million dollars to pay the Ashcroft Alliance compensation for the Universal Health Services debt.
Here's the vote which took place two hours ago at 4:15 - after a 5 hour debate. You'll only see the government side voting because, by then the opposition had walked out. More on that later, but first here's that vote:
PUP Debate, And Then Walk Out Before Vote
So, at the end it was 17 no's with 14 absences - 13 of those absences were on the PUP side which had walked out of the house about half an hour earlier. They did so after engaging fully in the debate and even extending it. Those who got up to debate for the PUP made it clear that they feel the UDP should vote to pay a debt it is responsible for. But, apparently lacking the courage to actually cast a yes vote to pay almost 100 million dollars to the Ashcroft Alliance, the PUP side inexplicably just up and walked out when the Prime Minister stood to wind up the debate.
When he walked out of the members room - the opposition leader didn't even want to talk to the press:...
PM Comments On Making Dubious History
With that, the opposition leader turned his back on the media - like we had done him something - and leaving the very same show that his party had spent hours participating in.
Like we said, inexplicable, but the PM then went on to wind up the debate - and end the meeting. When he came out he spoke about the dubious history that his party made today:...
"A historic day in the house. I am not sure it's the type of history you would want to preside over. What is your emotional feeling? Obviously the word of this will go all over, that a government brings a motion and then votes down its own motion. It just doesn't happen in parliament."
PM Says No Vote Not An Affront to CCJ
And so Parliament spoke mightily today - and depending on your view of such things - it was either a bold assertion of parliamentary supremacy - and by extension, the people's will, or, a flagrant disregard of the law, and a flouting of the highest court in the land.
But, as we said earlier, the vote came after hours of debate - which the Prime Minister opened up just before 11:00 am. He set the stage for the "no" vote, saying each member on the government side was allowed a conscience vote - and a "yes" vote, would not mean ignoring the authority of the CCJ:...
Briceno: “You Broke It, You Buy It”
The Leader of the Opposition responded to the Prime Minister - and he said that the Government is setting a dangerous precedent. He set out the party line for the day: that the PUP had disposed of this debt in 2008 - albeit by diverting grant funds meant for other purposes to the Ashcroft Alliance bank accounts. From there, the PUP argued, it is the Barrow Administration that basically "stronged" back that money - and set the stage for a huge and costly legal battle - which it lost - at the taxpayer's peril. Briceno said the UDP broke it, and should pay the bill for it :...
Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition:
"Now when you think back that we are at 95 million, it was only 36 million back then. We should have paid it back then. But now it's at 95 million, because they are fighting all over the place in courts, spend millions of dollars - to lose all of these cases and now we are 95 million dollars."
DPM Says There’s No Money To Pay
Deputy Prime Minister Faber held the UDP line: that they would love to obey the court, but government simply cannot find 95.6 million dollars to pay the Ashcroft Alliance:
Hon. Patrick Faber, Collet Area Rep.:
"We find ourselves in a final position where the court is saying that yes you need to pay this money. But I am sure in the same wisdom that the court is saying you need to pay that money in that very same wisdom the court will understand and sympathized with this honorable house and the Belizean people when we say that we absolutely cannot afford to pay..."
Rt. Hon Musa Says The Vote Is A Sham
One of the more interesting perspectives on the debate was from senior parliamentarian and former Prime Minister Said Musa. He is the architect of the private and secret Guarantee for Universal Health Services back in the early 2000's. He's also the Prime Minister who diverted grant funds from Venezuela and Taiwan to settle the debt.
So he is the originator of the problem - but he says he also cleaned up the mess before he left office. And that gives rise to the argument over whose mess is it, really? As you might expect, both sides spent much of the day blaming each other.
Gang Related Figure Murdered, Can Cops Contain Retaliation?
Police and police mediators have been holding down crime in the city for some months now - but today there was a gang related killing. And, tonight, the cops are working to contain any retalliation.
Just after 2:00 pm, 23 year old Shakeedi Baizer was shot multiple times - right after he left the Matron Roberts Clinic on Magazine Road and was walking through an alley. 7News was first on the scene and Courtney Wetherburne has the story:
Man Charged For Abetment in Law Firm Robbery
A 20 year old man has been charged in connection with the Courtenay and Coye law firm shooting. He is Victoria Street resident Sayeed Barona. He was charged with abetment to commit robbery when he appeared today before Magistrate Emerson Banner. Barona pleaded not guilty. He was offered a bail of $8,000 with one surety, which he met. His next court date is October 31st.
The incident happened last week Friday. Security guard 53 year old Lascelle Jeffords was on duty when two men emerged from a KIA sportage. One of them pointed a gun at him and demanded that he hand over his pistol. He refused and he and the gunman got into a struggle and Jeffords was shot to his stomach, but survived.
The Mystery of Those Flight Coordinates
There still aren't any answers as to what is behind the Facebook post featuring a notebook full of flight coordinates. As we have reported, someone posted pictures of a notebook with handwritten notes, allegedly detailing routes for illegal drug plane landings, GPS coordinates among other revealing information.
Although it wasn't disclosed to the public, this notebook has been in police custody since March of this year. This is after authorities found the notebook at the site of a crashed drug plane in northern Belize. As was stated in a police press release, authorities have examined the notebook and their investigation continues. So while all that has been established, how did this someone end up with pictures of this notebook post on a facebook page? We asked Acting Commissioner of Police Chester Williams about it today.
Police Launch Major Operation To Shake Up Northern Dons
The information in the notebook is only one part of it though, how about the local players involved in the landings of these drug planes. There is an elaborate network specifically up north. So police are bringing down the pressure to squeeze them out through intense operations in Orange Walk and Corozal. In fact there was an operation today and our information is that members of the GSU, SPU, MIT and other units detained 45 persons. The team also confiscated several items. Today Acting Commissioner Chester Williams told us more about these operations and also responded to the speculation that a Shipyard resident may be one of those involved in these illegal plane landings. Here are his comments.
UDP Politician’s Spouse Detained
Also in the rush today, 7News has confirmed that the spouse of a UDP politician was detained. He was not charged but was a person of interest because a name matching his showed up in a mobile phone found at one of the plane landing sights. Like most of the persons detained today, he was not charged.
Ag. Compol Says Drug Case Not Done
37 year old Peter Schmidt and 33 year old Carlos Lopez. They were caught with 5 kilos of cocaine and a pistol back in December 2017. They were charged with drug trafficking and possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition without a license. But, as we reported this week, the pair walked free after the arresting officer didn't show up for the court case. So the case was struck out. Well Acting Commissioner of Police Chester Williams says, Not so fast! Today Williams told us that these men will be re-arrested and the arresting officer will be dealt with.
Chester Williams, Acting Commissioner of Police:
"But in respect to what transpired in the courts.."
New Guardsmen Called Up
79 men and women have officially joined the coast guard. After an intense 12 weeks of training, there was a special graduation ceremony for these new recruits this morning. I dropped by to see them begin a new chapter of their lives as distinguished officers. Here is that story.
On a final note in coast guard news, there will be a Firearms and Security Expo tomorrow at the Hattieville Gallery range. There will also be the annual pistol competition among others. The public is invited to attend.
Faber Speaks On Shyne Vs. Sapnah Saga
Going back now to Belmopan - today we got all sides of the Shyne versus Sapnah saga.
First, to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Culture, Patrick Faber. He's been vouching the president he appointed for weeks - but that didn't seem to swing Cabinet - which still voted to suspend her. Today we asked Faber why she hadn't been placed on administrative leave :...
Jules Vasquez - Reporter:
"What is the situation with the president of NICH Sapna Budhrani, is she on suspension?"
Hon. Patrick Faber:
"We are still working at it but that was the instruction from Cabinet and so, I have no intentions of not carrying out what the Cabinet has asked to do."
PM Says DPM Should Be Respected
So while Faber says he expects his president to get that letter next week, the PM says he might have thought she would get it today. Here are his comments on the entire issue:
Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize :
"Well, as he said, obviously the letter casing her leave had not yet been received by her; I hope it has been dispatched. But she also made a valid point, when she is placed on leave she doesn't seize thereby to be president of NICH, she is president on leave. I want to make clear that this is not about seeking to punish this lady. The board has come out in her defense and the board is entitled to do that. The deputy prime minister has been defending her all along and he is entitled to do that..."
Ambassador Shyne Stands Firm On President Sapnah
And so while the Prime Minister seemed there to be chiding his son for publicly undermining the Deputy Prime Minister - Musical Ambassador Shyne is holding his line. He says NICH President Budhrani remains - in his mind - under a cloud of suspicion:..
Jules Vasquez- Reporter:
"Sir, but you have written severally to the minister, to the president herself, accusing her of material acts of, let's call it the popular word for today, misfeasance. The board is there saying 'no, no, no' the auditor is wrong and by implication Shyne is wrong. There isn't anything wrong, there are errors in the auditor's report, do you accept then that there are also errors in your conclusion?"
PM Going To Treat Back In Cuba
And, finally from Belmopan today, we have an update on the Prime Minister's back. He's leaving tomorrow to take three weeks off for another back surgery. He gave us the details about what he said is a "SERIOUS" procedure:
Deputy Faber takes over as acting PM tomorrow.
Shooting In North
Earlier we told you about a murder in the city, but there was also another shooting, this one up north at the Corozal Freezone. Fortunately it wasn't fatal. A Chinese shop attendant was targeted. He is 42 year old Jun Xie. The information is that this afternoon around 12:30, three masked armed men dressed in dark clothes entered the North American Fashion Store in the Corozal Freezone; one of them walked up to Xie and fired several shots at him. Xie was hit to the left foot. He was taken to Chetumal for medical treatment. We'll have more on Monday.
Last Day Of Re-Reg Looked Slow
Today was the last day of the re-registraiton exercise - and while you may have expected a rush on the last day - all the centers we visited showed low to no activity. In fact, what we saw the most was teachers getting ready for school.
Up to last week, less than one hundred and ten thousand persons had registered which is well off the target of two hundred thousand. Next week Monday we. Should know the the total for the complete exercise.
If you missed it, regular registration continues.
The UHS Debt is Finally Tackled in Parliament
A special sitting of the House of Representatives took place in Belmopan today on an issue that has been thorny and divisive. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, as Minister of Finance, [...]
Ballooning UHS Debt Can’t Be Paid Out of the Public Purse
The PM has taken the view that the judgment from the Caribbean Court of Justice which ruled that the loan is legal, cannot be paid from the consolidated revenue fund unless [...]
The Executive, the Legislature and the Looming UHS Debt
According to the PM, it was for the House to decide if the debt to the Belize Bank would be paid. His argument rested on the basis that the debt [...]
P.U.P. Walks Out, Refusing to Vote on UHS Debt Bill
For years, the guarantee by the government on a loan to the then Universal Health Services has been debated and tried in the courts. Today, it came down to a [...]
Johnny Breaks Down the UHS Loan
For the People’s United Party, the UHS loan guarantee goes back to the Musa Administration, one which this current government won’t let them forget. But when the Leader of the [...]
Johnny to P.M. – You Broke It, You Must Fix It!
Briceño placed the loan at the front door of the Prime Minister under whose watch the issue lingered before several courts for numerous years and remains unpaid. Briceño made the [...]
UHS Debt, “A $95.6 Million U.D.P. Bukut”
After tracing how the loan had meandered through the courts in Belize, London, New York, Miami, Washington and Trinidad, Briceño pointed to the law firms that had benefitted from legal [...]
“That is a U.D.P. Debt” – Musa to Barrow on the $95.6 Million UHS Debt
Back to the House…Contributing to the debate was Fort George Area Representative Said Musa. Musa was the Prime Minister at the time when the government decided to act as a [...]
Francis Fonseca Says Debt Responsibility Lies Squarely with PM Barrow
Freetown area rep Francis Fonseca was attorney general when G.O.B. signed off to guarantee the initial loan of thirty-three million dollars. The amount owed today has tripled so he put [...]
Shakedi Baizar Gunned Down in Belize City
Twenty-three-year-old Shakedi Baizar of the Eight Miles community was shot and killed today in Belize City. It is reported that around this two this afternoon Baizar had just exited the [...]
That Notebook with Flight Plans for Illegal Plane Landing in the North
Today, News Five caught up with Acting Commissioner of Police Chester Williams at an event in the city. As head of operations for the Belize Police Department, Williams was asked [...]
Investigation Continues into Fake Facebook Profile that Leaked Notebook Images
The postings on Facebook were made by an account belonging to a ‘Vincent Edwards,’ who is believed to be highly connected and the man on the ground during these illegal [...]
Anti-Drug Operations Underway in Northern Belize
The online posts have caused the Ministry of National Security, specifically the Belize Police Department, to kick into gear. Operations Commander Chester Williams told News Five today that along with [...]
Carlos Lopez and Peter Schmidt to be Rearrested and Charged for Drug Case
We also asked the acting Commissioner of Police about the case against thirty-three-year-old Carlos Lopez and thirty-seven-year-old Peter Schmidt. Earlier this week, the duo walked free of charges for the [...]
Culture Minister Confirms NICH President’s Administrative Leave
Embroiled in controversy, President of the National Institute of Culture and History Sapna Budhrani dominated the news this week. Budhrani was put on the hot seat after leaked audit documents [...]
PM Says Cabinet Wouldn’t Sweep NICH Fiasco Under the Carpet
Prime Minister Barrow also weighed in on the NICH debacle, reiterating that embattled president Sapna Budhrani will be placed on administrative leave as of Monday. Budhrani will remain president of [...]
PM Heads to Cuba for Spinal Surgery
Prime Minister Barrow is traveling to Cuba this weekend where he will be undergoing medical surgery on his spine on Tuesday. He will be gone for most of September and [...]
San Pedro & Placencia Experiencing an Extreme Case of Sargassum
In recent years, as early as 2011, the issue of Sargassum has been on the front-burner across the Caribbean. Here, in Belize, it was first recorded in late 2014. This [...]
American Woman Remains Missing; Family Fears the Worst
Fear is settling in as it is almost a week since sixty-seven-year-old Sherris Stringham has been seen in Hopkins Village. She last messaged her friends on Saturday, promising to meet [...]
79 Seamen Apprentices Join the Belize Coastguard
The Belize Coastguard is recording its largest number growing from strength to strength in its thirteenth year history. Today, just under eighty new members joined its ranks which have swollen [...]
Carnival King & Queen Take Centre Stage at Marion Jones on Saturday
On Saturday night, the Marion Jones Stadium will come alive with pre-carnival sights and sounds. At seven in the night the annual King and Queen of 2018 carnival will compete [...]
NICH Board Comes Out in Defense of President Sapna Budhrani
The controversy at the National Institute of Culture and History continues to unravel with President Sapna Budhrani is in the hot seat. Since details began to emerge on the state [...]
NICH President’s Vehicle was Purchased in Chetumal
The purchase of a compact crossover vehicle for use by NICH President Sapna Budhrani, as well as fuel consumption for the 2018 Honda CR-V raised eyebrows in the memo sent [...]
Fuel Consumption for NICH Vehicles Comfortably Below Budget
The gas bill for NICH during April and July was also queried by the internal auditor. According to his report, which was described as a draft audit, fuel consumption sprang [...]
Missing Altun Ha Funds Were Found and Deposited into NICH Account
On the issue of missing monies, Matus’ report indicates that funds collected from archaeological sites, including Altun Ha, have been unaccounted since March eighth. Heading the Institute of Archaeology since [...]
Peoples United Party Walks Out of House Meeting
Late this evening, after delivering some presentations, the Peoples United Party, led by Leader John Briceno (VO STARST) walked out of Parliament without voting on the loan motion tabled before the House. Said Musa, Francis Fonseca, Kareem Musa and the Leader of the Opposition spoke favorably about paying bills but ultimately abstained by their absence, …
Ministry of National Security’s stance on going to the ICJ
Next April Belizeans will be going to the polls to decide whether or not to take the decades long unfounded Guatemalan claim to the International Court of Justice. Today CEO in the Ministry of National Security, Felix Enriquez shared where his Ministry stands in the debate. CEO in the Ministry of National Security, Felix Enriquez …
Methodist Church elects new bishop
Reverend Alvin Moses Benguche has been appointed to be the Bishop and the District President for the 2018 to 2021 Triennium of the Methodist Church. Reverend Benguche has been a minister for twenty-eight years, serving in Jamaica and Guyana. Reverend Benguche, who is a Belizean, recently returned to Belize to take up his position as …
UB to host second all-inclusive fete to assist with their Endowment Fund Bursary
To provide financial assistance for students in need, the University of Belize started what they refer to as a UB Endowment Fund Bursary. In order to raise funds, the University will host its second all-inclusive fete. President of the University of Belize, Professor Clement Sankat spoke the need for the public to support the upcoming …
PM blames Former PM Said Musa as the Architect of UH Deal
It was when the Prime Minister was about to give his presentation and scold the Opposition that they walked out of parliament. This didn’t do anything less to calm the PM who was already incensed and ready to scold the Opposition, particularly the architect of the deal, former PM Musa. Prime Minster Dean Barrow: “The architect …
Leader of the Opposition says Universal Health Care debt was at Zero
Prior to his sudden departure, the leader of the Opposition initially chastised the UDP for their alleged bad deeds. However, he said the PM was negligent when the UDP came to power because the Universal Health debt had a zero balance. He blamed Prime Minister Barrow for forcing the Central Bank to retake the funds …
Seventy nine new recruits inducted into the Belize Coast Guard
Seventy nine new recruits joined the ranks of the Belize Coast Guard after completing twelve weeks of rigorous training. CEO in the Ministry of National Security, Felix Enriquez, spoke of the significance of the newest intake. Ministry of National Security, Felix Enriquez: “Today is a very important day for the Belize Coast Guard and for the …
Shyne says NICH Board is a Rubber Stamp
We can report tonight that NICH President Sapna Budhrani will be suspended pending the outcome of an external audit which was ordered by Cabinet. The case against Budhrani was forwarded by Music Ambassador, Jamal Shyne Barrow who was present at the National Assembly Building today. He told the media that he saw the press conference …
How the Belize Coast Guard benefits Belize’s national security
Since its inception, the Belize Coast Guard has been active in trying to curb crime and illegal activities within our maritime borders. CEO Enriquez spoke of the importance of the Belize Coast Guard to our country’s national security. CEO Enriquez: “The Belize Coast Guard is now recognized as one of the cornerstone institutions in National …
Crime stoppers offer reward for Sherris Stringham’s disappearance
Crime Stoppers Belize is offering a thirteen hundred dollar reward for any information leading to information on Sherris Stringham. (VO STARTS) The 67-year-old US national who had only recently settled in Hopkins Village, disappeared on Sunday. Friends became concerned after she did not show up for a get together. Having not heard from her for …
Shakeedi Baizer executed in broad daylight
The ongoing gun violence has claimed another life. 23 year old Shakeedi Baizer was gunned down in broad daylight on Magazine Road in Belize City. According to police reports, the incident occurred just after two o’clock this afternoon. Baizar had just exited the Matron Roberts Clinic and was walking through an alley when he was approached by a male person who fired several shots at him...
Businessman injured in armed robbery
A businessman was shot inside the Corozal Free Zone earlier today. 42-year-old Jun Xie came under fire while inside his store, North American Fashion Store. According to police, about twelve thirty this afternoon, three masked men armed with handgun entered the store, one of the men pointed a gun at Xie demanding money...
Controversial UHS bill to the House tomorrow
A new chapter is about to be written in Belize’s parliamentary history when the Universal Health Care Bill, which is over $95 million, goes to the floor of the House of Representatives tomorrow, Friday. Members from the government side have indicated that they will vote against the measure—despite a Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) order to pay the Belize Bank in line with the terms of a loan guarantee made by the Government of Belize on behalf of Universal Health Services (UHS).
Since the CCJ ruling, the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) has gone on record urging the Government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow to pay the UHS debt. If the government parliamentarians were to vote yes on this particular bill, this is one of the few instances where there would have been bipartisan support on the floor of the House, with the 12 PUP members voting the same way as the government members.
Cabinet silent on NICH’s Sapna Budhrani alleged suspension
The word allegedly coming out of Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting was that the president of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), Sapna Budhrani, had been suspended, reportedly pending the outcome of an external audit.
We say “allegedly” because Cabinet has inexplicably refused to validate media reports that in fact, it has indeed suspended a favorite of Education Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber, Sapna Budhrani.
After serious allegations surfaced against Budhrani, Faber came out swinging in her corner, telling the media “… I will continue to have that kind of confidence in her leadership and again the comments made by the Musical Ambassador were rather unfortunate.
Brodies’ $90,000 worth of imported medication denied entry into Belize
Brodies Supermarket has taken to the media to express its concerns over a $90,000 shipment of imported medication that is not being allowed into the country due to new drug regulations set in place by the Ministry of Health (MoH). According to a press release from Brodies, the withholding of the medication is due to the labels being in Turkish, and not English or Spanish. However, the Health ministry is saying there is much more to the story.
In July 2017, MoH established a new law to ensure the quality of the medication being imported into Belize. Under the new law, an importer who is going to import a pharmaceutical product must get the GMP Certificate (Good Manufacturing Practice) and CPP (Certificate of Pharmaceutical Products) for the medication and present it to MoH, who will provide the permit necessary for the medication after the submitted documents have been verified.
Import and domestic export rates increase in July 2018
Today, the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) held a press conference at which Statistician II Tiffany Vasquez discussed import and domestic export rates for July 2018. According to Vasquez, Belize’s total imports for the month were valued at $165.6 million, which showed an increase of 7.5% or $11.5 million from July 2017, when imports totaled $154.1 million.
The majority of this increase was due to a 40% growth in the “Food and Live Animals” category, up $6.1 million from $15.1 million in July 2017, to $21.2 million in July 2018. The reason for this increase was a spike in the importation of wheat (for milling) and various other grocery items.
Heightened purchases of cigarettes and clothing led to the increase of the imports of goods that fall under the “Commercial Free Zone” category. The value of purchases in that category went from $26.6 million to $30.7 million, an increase of $4.1 million.
Lost-and-found Robert Jacobs reunited with family
Robert Jacobs, 16, of Punta Gorda, Toledo, who has been missing from home since last Friday, August 24, has been found. Fisheries officers and Belize Defence Force soldiers on a joint, routine patrol, found Jacobs yesterday, floating in the sea on a board between Barranco and Sarstoon, Toledo District. The boy was rescued and taken to the Punta Gorda Hospital.
Information from his parents is that he was receiving fluids intravenously (“drip”) at the hospital because he was very dehydrated. According to his mother, young Jacobs was on some land the family owns south of Punta Gorda when he got lost.
St. John’s Cathedral undergoing much needed restorations
June of this year saw the start of the “Saint John’s Cathedral 2018 Restoration Initiative”, an initiative in which members of the restoration project are attempting to return the oldest church in Belize to its original magnificence. While these restorations are happening the church is still alive and well, with services continuing as usual.
The cathedral, built from bricks which had been used as ballast aboard ships, was constructed about 200 years ago, between 1812 and 1820, when Belize was the colony of British Honduras. It was initially a parish church but became a cathedral in 1891.
Rogers Stadium Club’s Annual Reunion and Basketball Sports Day, August 18
From the early 1970s, a group of young sportsmen have been congregating and engaging in sporting activities inside the Rogers Stadium compound, corner of Cemetery Road and Fairweather Street; to the point where they began participating in sporting competitions in basketball and football at the then major sporting outlets of Bird’s Isle and the MCC Grounds. Sports of all sorts were played at Rogers Stadium – basketball, football, softball, badminton, hand-ball, you name it; but the sport where the team representing the “Stadium” made the greatest impact in competition was basketball, where their most renowned star was probably the late Mervin “Shape” Rhodas on the Rogers Stadium All Stars team of the 1970s and 1980s.
Many of the original members and leaders of the Rogers Stadium Physical Cultural Sporting Club (RSPCSC) have since migrated to the United States, but they have maintained links with the home base, often contributing equipment and other support to remaining Stadium Club members in the Jewel.
BDFA condolences for referee Charles “Chubby” Young
The Belize District Football Association (BDFA) expresses its sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Charles Young.
Mr. Charles Young (Chubby) has been a long serving referee / friend of the Belize District Football Association, and was always willing to assist in any way for the love of the game. He loved to referee the beautiful game of football.
Mr. Charles Young has served us well, and will be greatly missed by the BDFA and the football family. May his soul rest in peace.
Stann Creek FA U-15 and U-17 updates, Week 3 standings, schedule
Below are the standings and upcoming games for Week 4 in the Stann Creek Football Association (SCFA) U-15 and U-17 Tournament 2018. Kindly note that the U-15 and U-17 games will not be played this Sunday, September 2; that is because Wagiya FC semipro team will make use of the stadium on that day.
Therefore, our U-15 and U-17 games are scheduled to be played on Friday and Saturday of this week. Let’s continue the great work we are doing with our youths.
In U-15 games last week, Silk Grass and New Site played to a 3-3 draw. Alex Alvarez (10’) and James Martinez (22’ & 43’) shook the net for Silk Grass; while Kevin Higinio (7’) and Darnell Chavez (39’ & 44’) hit the target for New Site. And in game 2, DYFA clipped Monument Site, 1-0, on a goal by Randy Martinez (60’).
21st National Belikin 8-Ball Tournament Finals – Long Island of Belize City back-to-back Champs!!!
The 21st Annual National Belikin 8-Ball Tournament commenced in May in eight different regions, namely: the six districts, in addition to Belmopan and San Pedro. A total of 60 teams throughout the country were competing to see who would be the champ, and represent their region in the Big Dance on the pool table on Saturday and Sunday, August 25 and 26, in Belmopan at the Lions Club.
It was hype, exciting, knee-shaking, heart pounding, hands trembling, nerve racking, and, yes, it was raining; but, just as the rain cannot stop the reggae jam, the rain could not stop this indoor sport and the 8-ball from pocketing.
Editorial: Belizean self-defence
The Southern Caucus of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) this week introduced the idea of Belizean self-defence on the Wednesday morning edition of the KREM Radio/TV Wake Up Belize (WUB) show. When we say “introduced,” what we mean is that no group of area representatives and standard bearers from the two major political parties, the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the PUP, has ever gone public with respect to the idea of Belizeans defending ourselves. The spokesman of the Southern Caucus, Dr. Luis Zabaneh, on Wednesday morning went so far as to articulate the possibility of a military draft for Belizeans 18 years and older.
Belize is a country where a lot of significant socio-political realities remain sub-surface. Immediately the idea of Belizean self-defence is broached, the reality of the present composition of our army becomes a matter for conversation. Belize’s Mayans and Garinagu are represented in our security forces in numbers disproportionate to their population percentages.
A football mom cries out for Jardehl!
Imagine how beautiful life could be!
I’m a proud football mom! I make no apologies for all the time I commit to my children and their love for football.
It all started when my sons were born. Having only boy children, I had to learn from early on that little boys have a fascination for two things — dirt and sports. If I was going to keep sane, I would have to learn to get involved and love what they love. I certainly was not the conventional mother who depended on her husband alone to help mold and develop my children’s love for sports because they are boys.
Tribute to Richard Foster
I have just read the article on page 5 of your August 24, 2018 edition of your newspaper. Thank you so much for printing such a touching and profound tribute to Richard Foster.
I did not have the pleasure of meeting this fine gentleman, but I appreciate his legacy left to Belizeans, his countrymen and to all who knew him.
What a great loss to this country, but most of all to his family and friends.
To respect the will of the people, the referendum must be binding
If the Government has its way, Belize will hold a referendum on 10th April 2019. Electors will express their view on whether or not the International Court of Justice should finally resolve any and all claims that Guatemala has to Belizean territory. I emphasize that electors will only express their views on whether to go to the ICJ, nothing more. The referendum results are not binding on the Government of Belize.
In an election, held under Belize’s electoral laws, electors elect their representatives, mayors, and councilors. The laws specifically set out the binding procedure by which persons so elected take office and perform their functions. Ultimately, there are election petitions to enforce the finality of the result. However, this is not the case with the Referendum Act.
“Come on”, the dealer at the casino tell a,” weh u got fi lose?” Mi country. Noh be wa fool, neem go da casino!!!
Is there anyone among us who believes going to court isn’t a risk?
Either side can win in court.
What has Guatemala got to lose by rolling the dice and going to the casino of the ICJ? Nothing.
However, Belize stands to risk from the Old Sarstoon up to the Sibun and some say even as far as the cayes.
The average person on the street understands this is a bad risk.
Yet our Prime Minister is one who backs going to the ICJ, stating we have an “airtight” case.
Should we listen to such a well known voice?
With all due respect it was our Prime Minister who said going to court with Ashcroft and BTL was a win, yet the Government of Belize, and the people lost to the tune of over a half billion dollars.
A public opinion matter
I am aware of a law (or laws) in our country that keeps public comment on judges and legal matters in check — “libel laws” we most likely inherited from the British. It isn’t common for Belizean leaders to comment on court matters. I have heard the Prime Minister step lightly on judgments from the courts that he didn’t favor. Yes, I heard the present leader step around, nibble at the quality of judgment rendered in a case or two. He should know what he is doing. He is trained in the law business.
It is understandable why there would be certain “protections” for the court, a level of insulation set there to prevent too raw commentaries on certain types of cases. We understand why murder cases are off limits. However, there are certain cases that are “public opinion” and the insulation is altogether excessive, oppressive even.
Belize, be on the alert
Do Belizeans want to be recolonized by Guatemala on the upcoming Compromis referendum, signed by the Belize government and Guatemala on 8th December, 2008? For a yes, vote for the ICJ. This referendum may decide our future and shall be held on the 10th April, 2019.
Let us remember the recent British referendum that was a homemade referendum to break away from the European Union (BREXIT). By a majority of votes the British people reaffirmed their self-determination to remain a free nation in Europe and in the world once again.
With the 1997 British withdrawal from Hong Kong, the Spanish government renewed the call for a return of Gibraltar, the 1,396 foot high rock of 27,000 inhabitants, to Spanish rule.
Vehicle of missing American from Hopkins found in Orange Walk
Concerns continue to grow for missing American national, Sherris Stringham, 67, who lives in Hopkins. She has been missing since last Saturday morning, August 25, when she was last seen in her vehicle in the village. Her vehicle had also disappeared.
This morning, police announced that Stringham’s missing vehicle, a green Nissan Xterra with license plates C – 14628, was found abandoned in Orange Walk Town yesterday. It was found without its license plates and insurance sticker. The vehicle has been impounded as the investigation continues.
On Sunday, an employee of hers had tried to call her, but got no response. The worried employee then called police.
Man’s body, with bullet wounds, found near Valley of Peace Road
Roshane Alexander Jones, 24, a laborer of Camalote, was found dead at about 6:00 this morning on the side of the so-called Farmer’s Express Way, a road in the Cayo District that links the George Price Highway with Spanish Lookout, and connects to Valley of Peace and Buena Vista on the way.
There were two gunshot wounds in Jones’ face.
Information to us is that a farmer who was walking on the road at about 8:00 this morning, on the way to his farm, saw the body of a Creole person lying in a pool of blood on the roadside. The man immediately called police, who went to the area to investigate.
Two Indian theft suspects returned to India without being charged
Back in November 2017, Amandala reported on a strange case of alleged thieves who insisted that they were in fact victims of human trafficking. What transpired was that on September 13, 2017, Jack Charles, a businessman, reportedly sent his employee, Jitendra Kumar, 29, with his Chevy Equinox, to pick up $60,000 from a business in Dangriga.
Kumar reportedly then met up with his colleague, Keyur Barot, 23, and they both escaped across the border, to Guatemala, where they abandoned the car.
Guatemalan authorities later found the vehicle and returned it to Belize.
Justin Lemoth, 29, gets 10 years and 7 months for manslaughter
Justin Lemoth, 29, who was found not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter by Justice Adolph Lucas on July 20, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment today.
But Lemoth will only serve 10 years and 7 months because Justice Lucas subtracted 4 years and 5 months from his sentence, which was the time he spent as a prisoner on remand.
Lemoth was convicted for causing the death of Richard Waight, Jr., 17, who was fatally stabbed in his chest with a knife in April 2014 during an altercation on a basketball court in Hattieville.
UHS, The No’s have it: empty seats of the opposition
Today the People’s United Party walked out of the House of Representatives in Unison, before registering their vote on the motion to pay the Universal Health Services debt.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow introduced the motion this morning to appropriate over $95 million to satisfy the debt, and the House in standard fashion debated the motion...
Sargassum situation getting worse
The Placencia Village Council called an emergency meeting today to try and devise a plan of action to deal with the large amount of sargassum that has washed up on the beach.
Vice Chair of the Village, Harald Wallen, told the Reporter that sargassum is an annual problem, but the current wave is the worst Placencia has ever seen...
Nudes, Nudes, Nudes!
It seems that almost everyday Facebook ‘lights up’ with the announcement that somebody’s nudes have been ‘leaked.’The typical response seems to be almost predictable: ‘send please.’ The private photos and...
EDITORIAL – August 31st. 2018
It is true that less than four years after the Battle of St. George’s Caye in 1798, the stunning effect of this victory by the Baymen was diminished by the...
Cabinet Says Sapna Must Go, – NICH Board Says NO
On Tuesday, based on allegations of wrongdoing at the National Institute of Culture and History, Cabinet allegedly issued a directive that NICH President Sapna Budhrani, appointed to that post by...
COP FOILES MURDER ATTEMPT
The lives of several bystanders in the usually bustling strip near Fibber’s food stop near the intersection of Cemetery Road and Johnson Street were put in real danger on Tuesday...
WHISTLE-BLOWER WAKES UP SLEEPING MINISTRY
Earlier this week several posts on a Facebook page under the name of Vince Edwards went viral. Edwards made serious allegations against unnamed Ministers of Government and senior Police Officials,...
$95M VOTE GOES TO THE HOUSE
The Government of Belize has announced a Special Sitting of the House of Representatives this Friday, during which a vote will be taken on whether or not to pay the...
SEARCH CONTINUES FOR MISSING WOMAN
The search for missing American national Sherris Stringham, 63, took another turn last night after Police found her green Nissan Xterra abandoned near the Orange Walk Bypass. Reports are that...
MISSING PG TEEN FOUND AFTER 5 DAYS
Five days of torment and worry for a Punta Gorda mother whose teenaged son went missing last week Friday came to a heart-wrenching, but happy end on Wednesday afternoon after...
SECURITY GUARD SHOT ON THE JOB RECOVERING
Lascelle Jeffords, 53, a security officer who was shot last week Friday evening while on duty at Courtenay Coye law firm, is in a stable condition and is said to...