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Today's Belize News: April 25, 2020 #541926
04/25/20 06:23 AM
04/25/20 06:23 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,111
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

Marty  Online Happy OP


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, Reef TV, KREM, and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Belize Now, Talk Ah Di Town, and other specials.

The San Pedro Sun

Closure of COVID-19 Unemployment Relief Program Online Portal
The Economic Oversight Team informs the public that the online portal for the Unemployment Relief Program has been closed to new applications. The portal opened to receive applications on April 3, 2020 and up to the time of closure at 4:00 p.m. today, April 24th, a total of 81,007 applications were received.

Ministry of Health Requests Public Support
The Ministry of Health advises the public that due to the recent and ongoing bush and backyard fires set by some individuals, many persons have reported side effects such as irritated eyes, prolonged coughing spells, and worsening of existing breathing problems.

Antillean Manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) Injured at Shipstern Lagoon
On April 10, 2020, an Antillean manatee that was recently released into its natural habitat by Wildtracks Rehabilitation Center in Sarteneja Village, Corozal was found with a spear injury to its head. It is believed that the manatee was injured anytime between April 9th to 10th.

BEL Intensifies Countrywide System Maintenance Program to Combat Impacts of Extended Drought
The extended drought and seasonal dry weather conditions have been causing excessive dust build-up on BEL’s power lines across the country, resulting in numerous electrical faults and sudden disruptions of electricity service to our customers. Frequent outages have also been occurring in various parts of the country due to bush fires which damage the base of the pole structures of our transmission and distribution lines.

U.S. Government to Donate Equipment to Ministry of National Security to Assist Counternarcotic Efforts
On April 23, the United States Government donated over $400,000 USD worth of communications equipment and Boston Whaler sustainment parts to the Belize Ministry of National Security. The donation is part of the U.S. Southern Command’s continued partnership with Belize and was funded by the U.S. counternarcotics program.

Ambergris Today

Gasoline Price In Belize To Drop Almost Three Dollars
The Ministry of Finance has announced that on Saturday, April 25, 2020 the pump price for regular gasoline will decrease by $2.97 from $10.23 to $7.26 per gallon. The prices for premium gasoline, kerosene, and diesel will remain unchanged at $10.92, $5.43, and $8.25 per gallon, respectively.

Belize Unemployment Relief Program Closed To New Applications
The Economic Oversight Team informs the public that the online portal for the Unemployment Relief Program has been closed to new applications. The portal opened to receive applications on April 3, 2020 and up to the time of closure at 4:00 p.m. today, April 24th, a total of 81,007 applications were received.

BEL Battling Effects Of Extreme Weather Conditions On Power System
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) teams continue to manage the effects of extended drought and seasonal dry weather conditions on our electric infrastructure, which have resulted in an increase of dust, smoke and soot contamination on power line equipment. Over the past few days, there has been an increase in pole fires due to excessive contaminants on insulators that cause them to fail, and bush fires that damage poles.

Various Belizean Sources


British Army Training Support Unit Continues to Assist the Ministry of National Security during COVID-19 Pandemic
The Government of the United Kingdom, through the British Army Training Support Unit (BATSUB), has pledged its continued support to the security forces of Belize. This support includes the provision of BATSUB’s barracks accommodation, laundry services, and exclusive access to their recreational area. Security forces personnel are also able to purchase groceries from the San Cas Store at Price Barracks. Additionally, a donation of 1,000 packs of 24-hour rations was handed over for distribution to the Belize Defence Force and the Belize Coast Guard.

Antillean Manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) Injured at Shipstern Lagoon
On April 10, 2020, an Antillean manatee that was recently released into its natural habitat by Wildtracks Rehabilitation Center in Sarteneja Village, Corozal was found with a spear injury to its head. It is believed that the manatee was injured anytime between April 9th to 10th. The injured manatee is an eight-foot sub-adult female named Khaleesi and lives in the northern end of the Shipstern Lagoon. An examination of the spear injury shows that it was caused by a spear commonly used by local fishers. The injured manatee is currently undergoing treatment and is recovering at the Wildtracks Rehabilitation Center.

Ministry of Immigration – Public Notice
The Ministry of Immigration hereby informs the public of the relocation of its Belize City offices. The Ministry will be relocating from the ground floor of the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building on Mahogany Street Extension to its new location, the H.D. Thompson Building on 1 ½ Miles Phillip Goldson Highway. As the Ministry continues to serve its valued customers, everyone who visits offices countrywide is asked to wear a face mask and to continue practicing social distancing and all other safety precautions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fires in Vaca Forest Reserve
These are the fires within the protected areas of Vaca Forest Reserve, Caracol Archaeological Reserve and Chiquibul National Park. These human induced threats undermine conservation efforts in the western Maya Mountains, affecting thousands of Belizeans and a country at large.

Yesterday the C.C.V.C held a meeting with all three soup kitchens namely Il Pelicano, The Volunteers of Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen and Hand of Love. In the meeting it was clearly stated that all three kitchens will continue to serve meals as long as they possible can and one master list will be created to ensure that if a person is getting one meal from a kitchen that person will not be allowed to get at another kitchen. The purpose of this list is to ensure that help is being extended to everyone in need and that distribution is done in the most fair manner. If you would like to sign up for a meal, please contact the Facebook page of Hands of Love or The Volunteers of Caye Caulker Facebook page. The Caye Caulker Village Council express gratitude to all soup kitchens for providing meals to many families.

Caye Caulker Baby Pantry
Employment is derived 95% from tourist based activities. Many of our young parents are now unemployed. My sister and I, both who have young babies , have taken upon ourselves to help all mothers on our island in our situation. Best estimated time frame for things to return to normal is about 6 months. We hope to help until this is over. We need your help immediately! Anything and everything is appreciated. Pamela Lang is organizing this fundraiser.

Santander Sugar Group Donates Sugar to Ambergris Caye
Mayor Daniel Guerrero and The San Pedro Town Council wishes to thank The Santander Sugar Group, Belize from the Cayo District for their generous donation of 1200 pounds of sugar. The donation will help the community’s COVID 19 relief response on Ambergris Caye. On behalf of the people of San Pedro, we say thank you!

New Schedule for the watering of unpaved streets in the different areas of Corozal Town
Courtesy: Corozal Town Council. The Corozal Town Council thanks you for your patience and support. We urge citizens to stay safe and continue adhering to the preventative measures set in place.

Life Skills Online Program
The Cornerstone Foundation and Youth Rise have teamed up to bring a free online Life Skills program to youths between 14 and 24. It will start on Monday, May 4th. Contact them at 603-5280 for more information.

Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation, and Poverty Alleviation Addresses False Calls to Applicants of the Food Assistance Program
The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation, and Poverty Alleviation has been reliably informed of instances where members of the public are being falsely called by persons claiming to represent the Ministry and informed that they have been approved for food assistance before directing them to a nearby store. These reports, if true, not only hinder processing of potential beneficiaries by creating confusion among applicants and store owners, but, more seriously, represent a cruel lack of compassion for Belizeans who are most in need during this time. The Ministry strongly discourages any such behaviour, and to mitigate these types of malicious acts, the public is advised of the following:

Relaxing the SOE measures
For those of you confused about what "relaxing the SOE measures" really means: We are back to where we were two weeks ago. That's all. There is still a curfew from 8PM-5AM. You can not be out of your house for any reason. You can be out of your house to exercise (run, walk, or jog) from 5AM-8AM. Food shops, restaurants (take-out only) and gas stations will be open on Sundays. You will be allowed to leave your home during non-curfew hours on Sundays to get food or fuel. You will also be allowed to leave your home on Sundays to get money from ATMs.

Commencing Monday, April 27th, both ferries will be open to the general public from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Please adhere to the guidelines set by the Ministry of Health for social distancing.

The Economic Oversight Team informs the public that the online portal for the Unemployment Relief Program has been closed to new applications. The portal opened to receive applications on April 3, 2020 and up to the time of closure at 4:00 p.m. today, April 24th, a total of 81,007 applications were received. Of this number, a total of 35,371 applications have been approved and 34,425 have been sent to the Social Security Board for payment to applicants.

The Ministry of Health advises the public that due to the recent and ongoing bush and backyard fires set by some individuals, many persons have reported side effects such as irritated eyes, prolonged coughing spells, and worsening of existing breathing problems. The Ministry reminds the public that the creation of smoke nuisance is illegal under the Public Health Act and can lead to further prosecution. This is in addition to the new regulations cited as Environment Protection Regulations via Statutory Instrument No. 59 of 2020 which calls on the prohibition of burning of bush, milpa, agricultural fields, pasture, grass, or any type of vegetation during the state of emergency, including the open burning of household and yard waste.

Source: NASA FIRMS: Fire Email Alert

Caribbean Community Member States approaching a combined total of 1000 confirmed COVID-19 cases
Recoveries are almost 250, while COVID-19 related deaths have been kept to just above 50. Keep track of the regional figures:


Change in the Pump Price of Fuel Effective April 25, 2020
The Ministry of Finance announces that on Saturday, April 25, 2020 the pump price for regular gasoline will decrease by $2.97 from $10.23 to $7.26 per gallon. The prices for premium gasoline, kerosene, and diesel will remain unchanged at $10.92, $5.43, and $8.25 per gallon, respectively. The price change reflects current demand and supply conditions of crude oil in the international petroleum market and fluctuations in the acquisition price of refined fuel products in the countries from which Belize obtains its supplies.

Paint N Splash
Our kids special for this weeks paint kit is this cute Uni Llama! Created by our very own Alexis Torres! Order your kit! $10 kit 9"×9" and $15 kit 12"x12" private message us for orders! Also we can customize colors for boys too!

Friday Night Jam / Fund Raiser for Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen
Hosted by Caribbean Fusion Brewing Company. Friday, May 1, 2020 at 7 PM – 10 PM, Streaming LIVE from Caribbean Fusion Brewing Company every Friday until the New Normal. We present Friday Night Jam Session. ALL proceeds donated directly to Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen’s GoFundMe account. This will be a virtual concert (on Facebook). you can listen in the comfort of your own home!

Run Covid19 Outta Belize Virtual 10K
May 1 at 12 AM – May 3 at 11:59 PM, Hosted by Total Time

Same rules as all other 6 days will apply this Sunday; - Curfew for children remain in place; - 8:00 pm to 5:00 am curfew remains place; - 5: 00 am to 7:59 pm, moving with essential purposes only — (a) purchasing essential needs; (b) attending for medical or veterinary attention; (c) emergencies;...

MOE Broadcasting Educational Programs
SCRS 103.1 FM Along with the Ministry Of Education will be Broadcasting the Educational Programs for Preschool and Primary levels from Monday to thursday on the following time, Starting Monday April 27. 2020 GROUP E - Preschool and Infant I and II 9:30 am - 10:15 am GROUP A - Standard 1 and Standard 2, 10:30 am - 11:15 am GROUP B - Standard 3 and Standard 4, 1:30 pm - 2:15 pm GROUP C - Standard 5 and Standard 6, 2:30 pm - 3:15 pm Keeping Learning from Home, Keep in tune to 103.1 Education is the Key to Success

An 4.4 Magnitude Earthquake Was Detected on the OFFSHORE of HONDURAS
Date And Time Mexico (UTC-5): 04-24-2020 17:01:44 UTC Date And Time: 04-24-2020 22:01:44 Region: OFFSHORE HONDURAS Depth: 10 Km Magnitude: 4.4 mb Latitude: 16.7 Longitude: -86.28

Fire on Caye Caulker
This morning at around 7:45, the home of Mr . Raymond Myers was engulfed in flames as the neighboring civilians worked to combat the fire before the Fire Department arrived. The flames did significant damage to his home. At present, Mr. Myers is in need of a few essentials, both food and materials to reconstruct his home. Non perishable food or Hot meals will be prudent.

Childhood Immunization Schedule postponed
After close consultation with Central Health Region, Ministry of health we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone the Vaccinations Scheduled. Being in the state of emergency, the Ministry of Health has advices us to further discuss and strategize how we will administer the vaccines in a method that will not put the mothers, babies and nurses in harm's way.

A man was knocked down and killed earlier tonight
It happened in Yo Creek Village, Orange Walk District. The deceased was on a bicycle when he was hit by a vehicle.

Agrilinks Belize Website
There's a new website for ordering Belizean produce. Currently, it's bulk orders only. Farmers can sign up to sell on the site. "Inviting all Farmers/ Agro-processors to register now, have your produce listed, and start selling online. Click the link below to register today!

Cristo Rey Fire Crew
Our first mission was completed today. A 22 member crew left the village before six this morning, sleepless after a half night with out electricity. Nevertheless, they were determined to fight this fire that has been causing a lot of damage in the village. With machetes, blowers, water pumps, rakes and water in hand, we went across the river currents and after an hour walk we encountered our foe. Splitting in three groups work started immediately and before 10 am fire was under control.

Channel 7

SOE, Relaxing The Rules
The extra strict rules for the National State of Emergency are being relaxed - just a little - starting on Sunday. This is after no new cases of COVID 19 have been detected in Belize for 10 days - and there are only 11 active cases of COVID in Belize tonight, and no one is hospitalized. The new, temporary measures mark the end of a two week period when extra strict measures were activated to contain what was believed to be community spread of COVID 19 in the Belize and Cayo Districts.

Curfew Continues
But, not all that regular because the national state of emergency and the national curfew will still be in effect, and that includes children. Peyrefitte stressed that after Sunday, children still cannot be on the street after 4:00, and adults still cannot be out after 8:00: "If you are a child below the age of 16, you could only be on the streets between 8am and 4pm..."

Buses, Boats & Planes
But, you won't go to jail if you're an essential service provider or employee travelling inter - district. That's right, one feature of regular life that's returning on Sunday is public transport. Buses, water taxi's and domestic flights will be able to move - provided everyone on board is on a specific essential mission, and wears a mask. "Public transportation providers will now be allowed to operate again. When I say public transportation providers I am talking about busses, water taxis, the planes like Maya or Tropic, they can now move..."

Travel Inter-District If...
But, as you heard, the opening of bus and water taxi service is only for essential travel - no local tourism, or recreational travel. "If you live in the Cayo District and you are going to Belize and the police stop you in Hattieville, you have to demonstrate to that officer that you are going to Belize District because you are either purchasing essential needs..."

Keeping Casinos and Salons Closed
And one thing you won't be travelling inter district for is to go that that special barber, or hair salon, or even your favourite casino. All those remain closed for the time being:

Food, To Go Only
And while Casino's are closed, restaurants can open - and not just for delivery. Food can be picked up - just not consumed on the premises. Here's the position on that:

The Taco Clause
But that doesn't include one staple of the Belizean diet - which is tacos. Taco stands still cannot open, unless it's Tacos to go, sold from a home or business, not a street stand:

Limited Openings For GOB Offices
And while you might be able to get a few tacos out the backdoor, you won't be able to get any lands documents! That's because while government offices will be opening opening on Sunday - it's only a few select offices having to do with essential services:

Moving With A Purpose
So unless you're going to one of those government offices, or going about your personal business with a specific intent, there are not many reasons to be outside. The limitation on public movement remains in effect after Sunday - and the rule is, basically, if you're out of your house, it has to be with good reason:

From 3 Feet to 6 Feet
And as you heard earlier, one of the reasons you can be outside is to exercise. But the requirement now iOS not for three feet, but for six feet of social stance at all times:

New Month, New Rules
So, we stress, all these new wrinkles in the State of Emergency rules come into effect on Sunday. But, these are just interim measures for 5 days: they will be followed next week Friday, May first, by a new set of measures, which may start to open up the economy and social living a little more. These will be introduced next week after another round of COVID testing is done. Peyrefitte explained:

Pump Price Plummets
We've been reporting it for over a weeks and finally we can confirm tonight that the new, sharply reduced price for regular fuel goes into effect at midnight. The current price of $10.23 per gallon is going down by almost three dollars to $7.26 per gallon. The two dollars 97 cent decrease is probably the single largest price drop on record, and it comes as world oil prices briefly went into negative figures this week.

Drowning In Sand Pit
The body of a 22-year-old man from Hattieville was found submerged in a pool this morning. He's been identified as Nigel Welch, and although it appears at this time that he drowned, his family is convinced that someone killed him. We understand that at around 11:20 this morning, Hattieville Police received a call for help at Malic Sand Pit, which is right across Hattieville Boom Road from the Belize Central Prison.

M4 Found in Family Home
Tonight a Belize City family of 3 is at the Belize Central Prison after police allegedly busted them with a high-powered assault rifle. Reports to 7News are that at around 2:00 yesterday afternoon, several teams of police officers conducted a search at the home of 48-year-old Lavorn Hemmans, which is located on Violet Lane in Belize City. She and her daughter 19-year-old Taemar Hemmans, were at home when police found this Black, Colt M4 Commando Assault Rifle, known as a "Carbine". The weapon had no serial number on it and was loaded with a magazine containing 18 live rounds of .223 ammunition.

74 Year Old Pedophile Caught in Sting
A disturbing case of child abuse has been reported in the Chula Vista area of Corozal Town. It was documented by a team of investigators including CIB, and social worker during a stakeout operation yesterday. Just after midday, the team saw a 74-year-old man in the act of molesting a 7-year-old girl under a Soursop tree.

Booths On The Ground
For a couple weeks now, we've been covering the construction and installation of COVID-19 Testing booths. The South Korean inspired booths have caught on and can now be found at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, Cleopatra White Clinic in Belize City, and the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga. And this morning the KHMH, which is the National referral hospital, and the only one equipped with a COVID-19 Isolation ward, joined the fold by receiving its first testing booth. It's a donation from Belize City Mayor Bernard Wagner.

KHMH Covid Concerns?
And with their new testing booth installed, staff at the KHMH should be a bit more at ease. But it begs the question, what has their bedside manner been like for suspected COVID cases? You may remember the allegations made by Maria-Estella Recinos, wife of Patient #4 Hubert Pipersburgh, Recinos who claimed that staff at the Western Regional Hospital delayed her husband's treatment and pretty much left them to fend for themselves in isolation.

Frontliners Free
How relevant is the Hippocratic oath during a Pandemic? Some may say more than ever, others may disagree. Medical professionals face particular risk, both to them and their families when treating patients who have contracted a highly contagious virus. And two weeks ago when staff in the KHMH's ICU were exposed to patient #10 they found themselves facing a mandatory quarantine. Today at the installation of the Hospital's testing booth we asked CEO Michelle Hoare how many exposed staff members have returned to work?

Using Union's Input
And what about the KHMH's worker's union? They had kicked up a fuss from the outside of the the COVID alert, by threatening industrial action if the COVID-19 Isolation Ward remained within the KHMH. Exposure was one of their primary fears. But they were dissuaded from that industrial action after urgings by the Leader of the Opposition and meetings with the Prime Minister. Today we asked CEO Hoare how much say the union has had in overall pandemic management planning.

PPE's Under Lock and Key
In recent weeks one constant union complaint has been the rationing of PPE's, and the concern that limited availability this vital armour put front-line workers at unnecessary risk. But there's a reason the stuff is under lock and key: Last week, even the Prime Minister mentioned the disappearance and theft of PPE's from medical facilities nationwide. We wondered whether that had been the case at the KHMH. The CEO addressed that concern earlier today.

Courts Cares For In a Time Of COVID
Recently, we've been telling you about how the business community and the Government have been engaging in programs to provide relief to the thousands of Belizeans who lost their jobs when the coronavirus gripped the world. There is a lot of need, and not enough aid to help, and so, different organizations have been taking the initiative to provide whatever help they can. That's just what Unicomer, the company associated with Courts Belize and Tropigas, did today when they made a ten-thousand-dollar donation to the Belize Red Cross.

Khaleesi Got Speared
There's sad news about Belize's critically endangered Antillean Manatee. The Fisheries Department reports that an Antillean manatee, which was recently released into its natural habitat by Wildtracks Rehabilitation Center in Sarteneja, Corozal, was found with a spear injury to the head. It is believed that the endangered animal was injured sometime between April 9th, and the 10th. Her handlers at Wildtracks call her "Khaleesi," and at this time she's an 8-foot female who has not reached adulthood just yet.

Belmopan Buckling
Last night on 7News you heard the Belmopan Mayor talk about the difficulties of trying to run a cash trapped city hall in a time of national crisis and economic stoppage. He said their revenue stream has slowed from 120 thousand a week to a mere trickle: "For example at the beginning of March we were averaging somewhere between 110 to 120 thousand collected per week and in that 4th week of March shortly after the first positive case was announced, it dipped dramatically to 50 thousand dollars, two weeks later that was down to 20 thousand dollars and of course now, council are absolutely closed, there is close to nothing coming into the councils chauffeurs at this point in time while we still have to pay..."

CITCO: $150k to $150?
And while Belisle leads a UDP council, the story is pretty much the same in Belize City with a PUP council. They are dirt broke and government doesn't have any help to offer. As you know they are struggling even paying the salaries for teachers and public officers. So, the City Hall in Belize City council says they have gone from $150,000 a week to 150 dollars:

Mayor Calls On Commercial Banks
And so while the revenue stream has collapsed, what happens when the economy does start back up? the private sector will struggle to get back on its feet after months of taking losses. the mayor says the commercial banks will have to step in to spur economic activity: "The Economy everything is connected and as we look forward post-COVID we will need the financial institutions to take up their loads as well banks will need to take risks..."

Drug Plane Dodged Belize
A drug plane landed in Bacalar this morning - and rpeorts are that it could have been circling Belize before that. Police were at the Hill Bank area in Orange Walk where it seemed to have been planning to make a landing. But, the presence of law enforcement on the ground seemed to have scared the traffickers off.

PUP Cries Foul Over Cattle
For the past few days now, we've been telling you about the sudden halting of cattle exports through Bullet Tree Falls Village in Cayo, into Guatemala. It was the informal way of doing things, but indications were that the Bullet Tree Chairman stepped in to stop Belizean exporters from moving their livestock through his village until fees were paid to the council.

UB Defers Graduation
As we've been reporting, schools have had to make a huge adjustment to COVID 19 and the national lockdown. The President of the University of Belize has announced that its student body will also have to adjust the loss of classroom time due to the COVID-19 crisis. In his 1600-word press statement, President Clement Sankat says quote, "these are uncertain times, times we have never seen before. And it is therefore not possible for me to make definitive statements about the immediate or even not so immediate future."

Changing Ramadan For COVID Reality
Fasting, it's a universal tradition, while practiced across the three Abrahamic religions, only Islam prescribes fasting as a principal article of faith. For thirty days a year hundred of millions of Muslims give up food and drink while seeking Allah through readings of the Koran and worship. Ramadan is also practiced in Belize. And this morning we spoke to a local missionary at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Ja'amat about how this year's observation of Ramadan, affected like everything else by the global pandemic, has been celebrated.

Blackout and Drought
During last night's news, we told you about the early morning blackout which sent the most of the country into darkness for a little under an hour. Well, BEL has since provided a detailed explanation. As we told you, the company is reporting that the drought, its dry weather conditions, and the accompanying wildfires have been causing contamination to their electricity infrastructure. Over the past few days, the company has noted an increase in pole fires due to excess contaminants covering their insulators, which then causes them to fail. And then, there are the bush fires that damaged poles.

Re: Today's Belize News: April 25, 2020 [Re: Marty] #541927
04/25/20 06:23 AM
04/25/20 06:23 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 72,111
oregon, spr
Marty Online happy OP

Marty  Online Happy OP

Channel 5

A Mysterious Drowning Outside of Hattieville
Three persons, including his stepfather, are detained for questioning in the mysterious drowning of a Hattieville resident. Twenty-two-year-old Nigel Welch, his stepfather and two others went to an eleven feet [...]

Sunday’s Total Lockdown Lifted
There are no new cases of the COVID 19 virus, the last reported case was twelve days ago, so on Monday, the House of Representatives will be in session in [...]

S.O.E. Curfew Remains in Effect
With the countrywide quarantine ending on Saturday, April twenty-fifth, movements of people will be permitted, but with restrictions. Businesses such as mechanic shops, banks, and certain government offices will reopen [...]

Business to Reopen During Certain Hours
The two-week lockdown winds down at midnight on Saturday and according to the Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte, public transportation will resume for essential workers who will be required to travel [...]

P.U.P. Supports Extended State of Emergency for 30 Days
This Monday, a House meeting will be held to get approval for an extension of sixty days to the State of Emergency. But it does not mean that the shutdown [...]

The COVID-19 Situation in Quintana Roo, Mexico
A panoramic snapshot of the COVID-19 situation in the neighbouring state of Quintana Roo shows a growing number of cases but in the community nearest to Belize, the numbers are [...]

Belizean Businessman Accused of Meddling in Hong Kong Affairs
Chinese national Lee Henley Hu Xiang, who holds Belizean citizenship, remains locked up in China and the Chinese government has indicated that it will prosecute Xiang. He is accused of [...]

Global Oil Prices and the Cost of Fuel in Belize
Prices for crude oil on the international market plunged dramatically to historic lows, setting off expectations that the savings will be passed on to consumers here. The state of emergency [...]

I.C.J. Extends Filing Dates for Belize/Guatemala Territorial Claim
On Wednesday, the International Court of Justice held its first ever virtual plenary meeting. It required the president and the registrar to be available in the deliberation room of the [...]

Belize City Council Donates Testing Booths to Medical Facilities Across the Old Capital
Hubert Pipersburgh was the first casualty of the COVID-19 here in Belize.  The fifty-four-year-old resident of San Ignacio worked at City Hall in Belize City and expired two days after [...]

Mayor Wagner says CitCo Not Dependent on Central Government
Earlier today, the media caught up with Belize City Mayor, Bernard Wagner at a handing over event at the K.H.M.H.  As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought business to [...]

Revenue Stream at the Municipal Level a Drop in the Bucket
There has been major inactivity at town councils across the country. Many of its services they provide are not considered essential and as such, several of the council’s departments have [...]

Belize City Mayor on Financial Institutions & Relief
As a former banker, Mayor Bernard Wagner also spoke about the current state of affairs as it relates to persons who find themselves unable to meet their obligations at financial [...]

K.H.M.H. Staff Back at Work After Being Quarantined, Cleared
There are only eleven active cases of the novel coronavirus reported by the Ministry of Health. During the Easter holidays, a number of K.H.M.H. staff members were exposed to COVID-19 [...]

K.H.M.H. C.E.O. on Concerns of the Hospital Workers Union
C.E.O. Michelle Cox-Hoare also responded to a question in respect of a request by the K.H.M.H. Workers Union to be granted a seat at the discussion table on the COVID-19 [...]

K.H.M.H. Still Responding to Accident and Emergency Cases
There has been a minimal number of shootings and accident victims rushed to the national referral hospital for critical care. The state of emergency has caused restrictions on movements and [...]

UB “Steps Up” Using Online Education
The University of Belize has made plans for its student body and while its president, Professor Clement Sankat, hopes to complete semester-two of this academic year, those hopes depend entirely [...]

Unicomer Donates 10k to Red Cross for COVID Relief
A number of corporate citizens are stepping up to the plate to assist organizations at this difficult time when COVID-19 has triggered long lines of unemployed persons. The Belize Red [...]

Should Red Cross have been Tapped for Aid Relief?
The Barrow administration has come under criticism for the politicization of its COVID-19 relief effort, particularly where the distribution of food items and other forms of aid are concerned.  That [...]

Chinese Federation Donates Thousands of Face Mask to Frontline Workers
More than six thousand surgical masks were also donated today to the Belize Police Department and the Ministry of Health. The donation comes courtesy from the All China Federation of [...]

Fires are Deliberately Set by Hunters in Blue Creek
Earlier this week, the Department of the Environment officially outlawed the lighting of brushfires, citing the activity as a public health hazard, aside from the destruction that it wreaks.  But [...]

Muslim Community Worships at Home Amid SOE
Across the country, thousands of devout religious supporters have been forced to worship at home and the Muslim community in Belize has also had to adapt to the rules of [...]

Ahmadiyya Muslim Humbly Assists with Food Pantry
The Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Belize has also been doing its part in assisting needy Belizeans through its own pantry programme.  This week, they reached out to several impoverished neighbourhoods [...]


2 more long months of State of Emergency
In an update this afternoon on Belize’s battle against the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister Dean Barrow trumpeted the good news that there have been no new cases of the virus since Monday, April 13, and that the clusters of the virus that were present in Belize City and San Ignacio have been contained. The Prime Minister used his video address to explain that on Monday and Tuesday next week, government will present a motion to the National Assembly to extend the national State of Emergency for another two months.

GOB tells municipalities to cut operating costs
Many are hoping that the COVID-19 pandemic that has demolished the global economy will make way for a brave new post-pandemic world, as countries begin to strive to rebuild their devastated economies. Although there have been a few countries which are not completely closed, most countries remain under lockdown to contain the novel coronavirus. In Belize, the lockdown is scheduled to continue until the end of the month, but opening the country in gradual stages will fall on the shoulders of the National COVID-19 Taskforce.

Belize’s sovereign credit score downgraded
According to an article published on S&P Global’s website on April 17, the agency downgraded Belize’s long-term foreign and local-currency sovereign credit ratings from a B- to a CCC, with a negative outlook. They also lowered the short-term foreign and local currency ratings of the country from a B to a C. The agency, in explaining the reasons for the lower credit ratings, referred to the country’s net general government debt, which is 97 percent of GDP, and it also predicted a significant contraction of Belize’s GDP in 2020.

No cattle crossing in Bullet Tree
The negative economic impact of COVID-19 has hit all sectors of the country, including our agricultural sector. Additionally, however, cattle exporters have been facing further restraints by the Bullet Tree village chairman, Sabino Pinelo. According to the area representative of Orange Walk South, Hon. Jose Mai, in an interview with LOVE FM Belize, the problem started on March 20, when three truckloads of cattle were being delivered from Orange Walk into Cayo to be exported to Guatemala.

Bishop Dorick Wright laid to rest
Bishop Dorick Wright, 74, Bishop Emeritus of the Catholic Church of Belize, was laid to rest this morning after a funeral ceremony was held for him at the Holy Redeemer Cathedral. Bishop Lawrence Nicasio, of Dangriga, was the celebrant. After the funeral, Bishop Wright’s coffin was taken to an area behind the cathedral, where he was entombed. The ceremony and burial were witnessed by just a handful of persons, due to safety regulations dictated by Government in response to the dreaded COVID-19. These regulations include a prohibition against more than 10 persons gathering in any place.

3 cops charged for willful oppression face internal police tribunal
Corporal Jason Shaw, 46; Constable Leslie Martinez, 38; and Constable Anthony Villamil, 20, of Precinct 2 of the Police Department in Belize City, were arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on a charge of willful oppression. They pleaded not guilty and were each offered bail of $1,000 and a surety of the same amount. They were able to meet bail and were ordered to return to court on July 14.

Police arrest police for curfew violation
Two off-duty policemen who were found talking in front of one of their houses, were taken into custody by police when they could not give adequate reason for violating the curfew. They were then charged for violating the curfew. Commissioner of Police Chester Williams said that these two policemen are not the first officers who have been arrested and charged for violating the curfew. The two policemen were upset about the arrest and believe that there should have been the “brotherhood of police” to protect them, and that their arrest could have been a result of rivalry between “northside police and southside police”, since the officers are from the north side of the city.

Farmer, 50, shot by Guatemalan bandit
Rafael Vasquez, 50, a farmer of Calla Creek, is recovering at the Western Regional Hospital in a serious but stable condition after he was shot in the abdomen and leg, and his head was grazed. Reliable information is that at about 5:30 Monday evening, Vasquez was on his farm when a man of Hispanic descent came up to him, and asked him to take him to the back roads that lead into Melchor, Guatemala.

Editorial: Hopefully we will soon be taking our first steps in our new normal
A story on the website, says some disease experts from Harvard believe that “some form of intermittent social distancing may need to be in place until 2022 … because once the initial wave of COVID-19 infections has passed, further outbreaks could occur.” The Harvard experts said that “if lockdown restrictions are lifted at the same time, instead of in coordinated phases, a surge in new cases could overwhelm healthcare systems.”

Buddy Brown tells KREM PLUS he wants Belizeans to do all they can to stay COVID-19 free
Popular Belizean entertainment promoter, Earl “Buddy” Brown, who resides in New York, USA, told Evan Hyde, Jr., on his Talk To Mi show on KREM PLUS on Youtube, that he was going on air, on the show, because he wanted to advise all Belizeans to make an intense effort to stay COVID-19 free, because the disease is an ordeal that is not to be taken lightly. Buddy was stricken by the disease some weeks ago, after his wife and daughter became infected with the virus, and he found himself almost at the brink of a medical emergency before he started regaining his health.

The 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic in Corozal, Belize: An Unclaimed Letter Rediscovered
Belize is presently facing the most serious public health crisis experienced by any living Belizean. Fortunately, as we write, the country still has only 18 confirmed, positive cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus.(1) Thanks to the quarantine, the transmission of the virus outside of Belize City and San Ignacio has been slow. If the quarantine and public health measures are followed assiduously, there is reason to hope that COVID-19 will spread very slowly and not overwhelm the medical system. Of course, the social and economic costs of this crisis — the social isolation, crash in tourism, and slowdown of trade, to say nothing of illness and possible deaths — are significant, with their own costs and consequences. These are hard times. It is normal to feel a sense of deep disorientation.

2 recovered from COVID-19, leaving 14 Belizeans with the virus
After announcing during its webcast this afternoon that one person who contracted the novel coronavirus has been listed as fully recovered after negative tests were returned, the Ministry of Health updated its infographic late this evening, adding that another patient has recovered from the virus, bringing to 2 the amount of recoveries. In Belize, there were 18 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, which resulted in the death of two men.

Flashback on the birth of semipro league football in Belize
With no sports occurring during this COVID-19 induced State of Emergency, we find ourselves indulging in the luxury of reflection. And among our unpublished material we came across something we think worth recording. I had briefly coached a Kremandala Lake semipro football team back in 2005, and their star strikers then were a young Deon McCaulay, his dad David “Manu” McCaulay and one Dion “Pussy” Flowers. The major part of the below article was done at the time stated, February 2, 2012; but it was not completed, and with newspaper deadline pressures and so much sports to cover, it somehow, like some other material, got left by the wayside. Now, with some time on my hands, after considerable effort researching old notes and records, I managed to wrap up the story yesterday. Actually, it is a brief sketch of what could be a whole book to chronicle the development of semi-professional football in Belize.

Cxh – Football Flashback 3 – Some more names from “back eena di day”
Perhaps, we should have embarked upon recalling prominent teams of the past, and then try and fill in their rosters with the help of old timers from the different football eras; because, each few days, it seems, we remember a few more names of ‘ballers from “dem days.” For example, imagine, I completely forgot the first goalkeeper I played with in senior football competition on Amateur Sporting Club, one Brian Bennett, who was so intense in goal that he would literally cry tears sometimes when a goal was scored upon him. Also, the legendary Independence goalie “Cuando Caliente el Sol” (a.k.a. Roland Craig), who was the man between the sticks on Diamond-A teams I played with between 1972-74.

Poverty and poor governance
It seems like the stories around the Coronavirus have taken over our lives, but while it is critical because it is a life and death issue, even more critical to me is the economic hardship we will suffer at the hands of our failed government and poor governance. Knowing that we cannot afford to cope with any massive COVID-19 infections due to a poor healthcare system and a poor economy, as soon as I understood the fallout COVID-19 had caused in other countries I applied the metric to Belize and knew an early response could be our saving grace.

If we wud a oanli noa how dehn one pan di ada side di punish
We, who are living through this horrific time, being stared down by a deadly disease, watching our country’s economy crushed before our eyes, and people getting sick, and even dying, we should not for one moment think that things are better on the other side, bikaaz there is no safety over there. No, I don’t have the hayr off a di haas tayl een a mi han, but for all I read, and listen around, and think, I have every belief that it is plenty rough for those who have departed too.

A new beginning
The great Shakespeare in Julius Caesar uses the image of “tides” twice to describe the momentous movements in the affairs of man’s history. The image is first used when Caesar crosses the Rubicon, taking his army into Rome, which was forbidden; but he defied the law and Rome subjected it to one-man rule. But, when Brutus and his fellow conspirator and assassin were met by Octavian and Mark Antony at Phillipi, he argued with the image of the “tides” in reference to the affairs of men to convince Cassius to attack the opposing forces. As a result, he strained their resources. They were overwhelmed and lost.

Desmond Roberts’ devious games
It happened that due to pressure of work Jerome was sometimes unable to leave the hospital in time to catch the regular flight at 11:30 on a Saturday morning and would have to charter a plane to get home; and it had been on one such occasion in mid-July that an incident had occurred causing a ruffle in their relationship. A Mr. Desmond Roberts, a prominent and wealthy storeowner of East Indian extraction from their town, who had travelled to the capital on business and, like Jerome, had missed the regular flight home, had been advised by the airline company that he might seek a passage with him on the final charter flight for that day.

Scientific evidence indicates virus that causes COVID-19 infection is of natural origin, not the result of human engineering
Misleading: New directives by the Chinese government are in line with best practices enacted by scientific institutions around the world when handling new pathogens. These directives are not evidence of a biosecurity breach as claimed. Unsupported: There is no evidence that the Wuhan Institute of Virology was studying SARS-CoV-2 before the outbreak, nor that biosecurity failures led to its release or that lab animals are being sold or consumed.

Belize and the Caribbean should have a contingency plan
Dear Editor, J.P. Morgan predicts that the United states GDP will shrink by 25% in the second quarter. Goldman Sachs estimates a 34% contraction, and Evercore ISI predicts a 50% decline. I expect that the US will have negative growth for 3 years and less than 2% growth for at least a decade. What the US Federal Reserve is doing with quantitative easing, low interest rates and the Federal Reserve buying up bonds, is what the Bank of Japan did in the 1990s and has continued indefinitely. After the Asset Bubble burst in 1991 and early 1992, in Japan, the ratio of public bond to GDP increased from 42% in 1990 to 191% in 2018.

COVID-19: The battle between education and survival
Dear Editor, As I listen intently to all the collective concerns of teachers, parents and students alike with regard to the direction of education in these critical times of uncertainty, there are mixed feelings as to the level of engagement that students purportedly need or should be receiving during this time. There are the advocates who believe that students should be getting “pound for pound” work, aligned against the curriculum and measured by proper activities and assessments.

Oil is at -(minus) 14.72 – US$2.85 a barrel
Dear Editor, For the first time in history, oil is at -(minus) 14.72 a barrel. That means oil producers are paying for a barrel. The largest oil producer is the United States, but they consume their oil and import some. The largest oil exporter is Saudi Arabia, and second is Russia.

The Reporter

Ministry of Agriculture CEO Jose Alpuche Resigns
Sources in the Ministry of Agriculture have confirmed to the Reporter that CEO Jose Alpuche has handed in his resignation from the post. We are told that his departure will take effect in three months.

Fuel prices in Belize remain high
Public outcry has been escalating as fuel prices in Belize remain exorbitantly high despite record lows worldwide and world oil prices in the negative. According to Financial Secretary Joe Waight, "The retail sales have been down by almost 75 % as a result of the lockdown and the loss/decrease of income for many thousands of vehicle owners and operators. The old stock still has not been exhausted but should should occur in the near days ahead .


Director of Health Services speaks on re-infection additional testing and the new norm
Belize has reported that five of the eighteen patients who have been tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered. The burning question with these recoveries is whether or not the patients have developed an immunity to the coronavirus.

CitCo scales back salaries
Globally, governments, businesses and workers are taking a hit financially. In Belize City, Mayor Bernard says it is like going from making one hundred and fifty thousand dollars to one hundred and fifty dollars.

PUP support State of Emergency extension
In response to the Prime Minister’s announcement to extend the current State of Emergency for 60 additional days, the PUP has stated that they support a 30-day extension. While the PM stated that this 60 day extension was to gradually start relaxing the current restrictions imposed, the PUP has consulted medical experts on the matter, thus forming their opinion.

Attorney General simplifies the current situation and what will change come Sunday
There has been some confusion within the public following the Prime Minister’s announcement of ease on restrictions yesterday. The confusion seems to stem from the fact that the State of Emergency is being extended but the restrictions are being relaxed.

CitCo donates testing booths in memory of Hubert Pipersburgh
Two COVID-19 testing booths were installed on the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) compound this morning just after ten o’clock. The donation was through the efforts of the Belize City Council as a dedication to their former employee, Hubert Pipersburgh who lost his fight against COVID-19.

Regular gas price plummets
The cost of regular fuel has plummeted at the pumps. As at midnight tonight, for the first time in many years consumers will be paying under eight dollars per gallon of regular fuel.

Issues with Food Assistance Program
In a time of distress such as this, people have been taking advantage of those less fortunate. According to the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, members of the public have been falsely called by persons claiming to represent the ministry and being told they have been approved for food assistance.

Manatee injured by spear
An Antillean Manatee was found injured at Shipstern Lagoon. The manatee, named Khaleesi, is an 8-foot sub-adult female that was recently released into its natural habitat by Wildtracks Rehabilitation Center in Sarteneja Village, Corozal.

Delivery man found dead inside a man-made pool
A Belizean Delivery man was found dead in a man-made pool just before midday. Initial investigation reveals that 22-year-old Nigel Welch was with 3 other men at Malic Sand Pit when he jumped in the man-made pool and did not resurface.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Over $3 million paid in unemployment relief as portal closes
The Economic Oversight Team informed today that the online portal for the Unemployment Relief Program has […]

Cyclist killed in traffic accident near Yo Creek
A man died minutes ago in a road traffic accident. He has not yet been […]

Garifuna Collective represents Belize on Bird Song album produced by German record label
The German record label Shika Shika is releasing a new album called “A Guide to […]

Guatemala seeks extension from ICJ to submit argument against Belize
Last May Belizeans voted to have Guatemala’s unfounded claim to Belizean territory adjudicated before the […]

Give us this day our daily bread – A tribute to Karla Cano Turton
By Lisa Shoman: When I gave her the challenge of making a wedding cake in the form of sandcastle (but just like if a kid made it), and she rose to the challenge and executed it magnificently complete with a little flag, assorted sea shells and iridescent brown sugar sand, I knew she was a certified GENIUS. […]

PUP Supports 30 Day State of Emergency
On April 23, 2020, the Prime Minister announced that the Government will convene a meeting […]

The relaxed measures as explained by the Attorney General
The Attorney General (AG) said today that among the relaxed measures taken by officials include […]

Attorney General: Rules for May 1st to June 30th not yet completed
The Attorney General (AG), Micheal Peyrefitte explained today on the “Ask the Experts Panel” that […]

Unicomer (Belize) Ltd. the parent company of Courts partners with The Belize Red Cross Society for COVID-19 relief aid
Courts is joining the country’s fight against the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic with a […]

British Army training support unit continues to assist Ministry of National Security during COVID-19 pandemic
The Government of the United Kingdom, through the British Army Training Support Unit (BATSUB), has […]

PUP’s Jose Mai calls for the resignation of Godwin Hulse as Minister of Agriculture
The People’s United Party (PUP)’s Jose Mai issued a statement today calling for the resignation […]

Belize City Council hands over COVID-19 testing booths to KHMH and clinics
In honor of fallen friend Hubert Pipersburgh and in support of the effort to fight […]

Family of 3 charged for unlicensed M4 assault rifle
A mother and her two children of a Violet Lane address in Belize City have […]

Ministry of Immigration relocates Belize City office
The Ministry of Immigration announced today that it will be relocating its Belize City office. […]

A+ restaurant robbed in Belize City
A+ restaurant, located on Mahogany Street and owned by nationalized Belizean Guozi Zhen, 57, was […]

Belize national to be prosecuted in China for ‘Hong Kong’ interference
The International Business Times and other international media sites are reporting that China has detained […]


Bad Things Happen in Threes
As for my three bad things, it all started with a chipped tooth on Saturday night. Being that we were on total lockdown for the second Sunday (of three) and not able to leave the house, I Facebook messaged my main San Pedro dentist Dr. Lara and asked him if he would be available on Monday to see me. Thankfully I got an instant yes. Next came Sunday and bad thing number two. Had I known this was going to happen I almost would have, stayed in bed. Thankfully I didn’t because it was laundry day. Also extremely thankful that my sheets made it through the wash cycle ok. Not happy the next load did not as my washing machine quit.

Puffy Fry Jacks – they are a thing!
I had no idea that puffy fry jacks were a thing of wonder. Apparently, not everyone has the recipe to successfully make puffy, pillowy mounds of fried dough. A real treat, however, is the fried delights known as Fry Jacks. Made with the same tortilla dough, fry jacks are the epitome of indulgence. Once flattened into a nice round circle, some cooks would slice the dough in half, then drop in a pan of hot oil, letting it fry up nice and puffy, turning and ensuring all sides are evenly browned and perfect. Imagine my surprise at finding out that not everyone has the same luck at the first try! Their fry jacks often stay flat, perhaps a bubble or two forms, but no full-on puff that separates and creates the perfect pocket to stuff with beans and cheese or eggs or veggies or what-have-you.

International Sourcesizz

Webinar “The Future of Caribbean tourism"
Join the CTO on April 30th for a Facebook Live webinar “The Future of Caribbean tourism – Key consideration for the COVID-19 recovery. Join us on Facebook Live for a webinar that takes place on Thursday 30 April at 11:00 am Eastern Caribbean Time (4:00 p.m. in the UK). Speakers include World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) deputy director for the Americas, Alejandro Varela; Gloria Guevara, president, World Travel & Tourism Council; Neil Walters, Caribbean Tourism Organization acting secretary general.


  • Peter Lawrence on ReefTV, 12min.

  • Mr. Adrian Rogers of Caye Caulker, 4min. Your onions are coming, folks! Mr. Adrian Rogers has got you covered! Mr. Adrian Rogers, a taxi driver by trade, is an integral part of the supply chain here on Caye Caulker. Today he’s delivering food supplies to the soup kitchens and individuals all around the island. We salute you, sir!

  • Belize with Lindblad Expedition Naturalist Alyssa Adler, 46min. Join Lindblad Expedition's naturalist Alyssa Adler as she takes students on a virtual field trip to show off the natural wonders of Belize! Originally from Oregon, Alyssa has always had a strong relationship with nature and the outdoors. In search of a life full of adventure, she found her passion for the ocean while studying at Oregon State University. As a PADI Divemaster, her life revolves around diving and science. Working globally as an underwater videographer and ocean educator - from the balmy coral reefs of the Seychelles to the abundant kelp forests of Southern Argentina. Additionally, Alyssa has fostered a love for the poles and extreme cold-water diving, spending most of her time in Antarctica and the high Arctic. Once in a while, however, she takes the welcome opportunity to thaw out on tropical reefs like Belize!

  • Belize 2020, 58min. Four couples who are friends and bird watchers travel to four different eco-resorts in search of birds and much more such as butterflies, culture and natural wonders.

  • Backpacking in Belize, 3min. Traveling through Belize: San Ignacio, Hopkins and Caye Caulker

  • Friday's "Ask the Experts", min. Hon. Michael Peyrefitte, Attorney General & Minister of National Security,

  • UNCOVERING COVID-19 Pandemic - A Channel 5 Special, 90min.

  • Ramadan in Belize, 3min.

  • Sharks, Blacktips at Half Moon Caye, Belize, 14min. Scuba Diving Half Moon Caye Belize...................Blacktip Sharks Everywhere, Excellent Dive

  • Let's Paint Belize Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, 2min. Special Envoy Belize

  • Belize & Guatemala, 7.5min. Aboard the NG Quest we explored the Southern Cayes of Belize as part of the pristine Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. We also ventured inland to the rainforests of the Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve

  • The Plug, 32min.

  • Dr. Elizabeth Graham receives the Society for American Archaeology Award for Excellence in Latin American and Caribbean Archaeology, 21min. Check out the virtual award ceremony below, Liz's award is at 11:20. Today we were supposed to be gathered at the SAA Annual Meeting in Austin to honor Dr. Liz Graham as she received the Award for Excellence in Latin American and Caribbean Archaeology. As SAA president Joe Watkins said today, "Even though we had to cancel our physical meeting, we still want to take the opportunity to congratulate our colleagues and acknowledge their contributions."

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