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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

Island residents oppose plans to build a water taxi terminal on beachfront of former Ruby’s Hotel
The proposed construction of a massive water taxi terminal on the beachfront of the former Ruby’s Hotel, now known Coastal Bay in San Pedro Town, continues to face strong public disapproval. Recent unconfirmed information as of press time is that the project has received the green light, and construction of the terminal is to start soon. This has raised concerns among many islanders, who have voiced their adamant rejection to the project, and are seeking support via an online petition and other means to stop the unwanted project.

Ambergris Today

Belize At 36 Days With Zero COVID-19 Cases
As of yesterday, Tuesday, May 20, 2020,Belize is only country in mainland America with zero COVID-19 cases after Suriname reported a new case. Belize’s Ministry of Health reported last night that a further 33 samples were tested yesterday and all came out negative. Despite the large numbers in neighboring countries in its largest tourism market, including the U.S., Belize has had a total of 18 and no new case since April 13th.

Various Belizean Sources

mzz

Caye Caulker Soup Kitchen day Location
Thursday, May 21st Meal pick ups Location: Happy Lobster Restaurant Times: Village: 11:00am - 11:45pm. Bahia: 11:45am - 12: 30pm.

Government of Belize Congratulates President Tsai Ing-wen on Her Presidential Inauguration
The Government and people of Belize congratulates President Tsai Ing-wen of the Republic of China (Taiwan) as she was sworn in today, May 20th, for her second term as president. In his congratulatory remarks to the President, Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow stated, “Under President Tsai’s leadership, Belize and Taiwan will remain the firmest of friends. We expect not just continuity but expansion of our bilateral relationship. And in the international sphere Taiwan can always count on Belize’s support.”

San Pedro's Mother of the Year gets 1100L Water Tank
Harmouche Center through the San Pedro Town Council donated a 1100L Tank to Mother of the Year 2020, Ms. Evarista. She was very grateful for the donation as it came in handy for her. Thank you Harmouche Center for the great donation.

Pesticides Control Board Notice
The Pesticides Control Board thanks its clients, stakeholders and the general public for the cooperation demonstrated during its implementation of precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Clients, stakeholders and the general public are hereby advised of the following measures that remain in place in order to maintain operational continuity during the national State of Emergency for prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

More Alcohol Than Food - Commissioner of Police Explains
"Good morning my friends, we are seeing that a number of Restaurants and those places with Publican Special and trade licence to sell food, advertising social events and beer sale at their establishment. Please, may I remind you that as a restaurant you can only sell alcohol with meal. Your main attraction is and must be food and not alcohol. Those places that has Publican Special licence with trade licence to sell food, while the state of emergency regulation do allow you to open your main attraction must also be food. You cannot sell alcohol without food and you must comply with all the requirements of the law.

Attention Restaurant Operators
Hospitality Training Services - Belize is having a free webinar for restaurateurs on Friday. Shared: https://bit.ly/CayoCal. Some topics to be covered: Food safety, Cleaning and sanitizing, Employee health monitoring, personal hygiene, Social distancing.

Join the BAY Mentorship Program today!
The Belmopan Active Youths are looking for mentors. Let them know if you're interested in helping them help others.

The Artists of the Day, Carlos Carrillo
Born in 1996 in Corozal Town, Carlos started drawing at the age of nine. He noticed people making positive comments on his drawings and realized his talent. At the age of thirteen Carlos won Gold with his drawings at the National Festival of Arts for primary schools. Shortly after, he was invited to participate in the Institute of Creative Arts - Corozal Committee’s Summer Art Program. Carlos continued to develop his artistic style with more programs offered by the Corozal Organization Leading Cultural Heritage and Art (COLCHA) from 2010 to 2013. In 2012 Carlos was awarded Poster Youth for the Corozal District, by the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH). In 2013 he placed third in the National Youth Awards. In 2014 he joined the annual Men at Work and Identity Youth art exhibits at the Corozal House of Culture.

Belize Literary Prize Postponed
The Belize Book Industry Association's Belize Literary Prize is postponed. No new date has been confirmed. Updated criteria and the new deadline will be sent when available. Thank you for your interest and support, especially of our recent online observation of World Book and Copyright Day!

Chaa Creek Is Cautiously Optimistic - and Busy - As Belize Looks Towards Reopening
With Belize the first, and still the only country in the Americas to be COVID-19 free, and with no new cases reported, The Lodge at Chaa Creek is busy preparing to welcome guests and a return to normalcy, the popular Belizean eco-resort’s owners say. Founding owners Mick and Lucy Fleming praised the government of Belize for early intervention measures, and the Belizean people for working together to maintain social distancing and other protocols. This is allowing for some restrictions to be eased and the tourism industry to plan for the future, they said. “We’ve beginning to think about making the transition from containment and lockdown to opening up and welcoming visitors, and that’s very exciting,” Ms Fleming, a past president of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), said.

Thursday's "Ask the Experts"
Join us again today, May 21st, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. for another segment of 'Ask the Experts'. Our guests will be Drs. Marvin and Russell Manzanero of the Ministry of Health Belize.

St. Francis Xavier Credit Union Ltd.'s working hours have changed

John Burgos and Stewart Krohn on Open Your Eyes today
Join BTIA Executive Director, John Burgos and 2nd Vice President, Stewart Krohn on the 1st segment of Open Your Eyes today, May 21 at 7am as they share details on the future of tourism and recovery plan recommendations.

Virtual National Festival of Arts 2020
Today's Festival of Arts Showcase will be slightly different! The videos were all captured by teachers just before the beginning of quarantine and the closing of schools, making them all the more poignant. Tune in right here on our Facebook Page and also on Institute of Creative Arts - NICH @ 7pm! ...Belize Festival of Arts 2020: Creative Resilience - Social Media Is My Stage

Repatriation Flights to the USA
There are currently a few seats still available on United Airlines flight UA2421, which departs Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) on Friday May 22, 2020 at 12:00 noon and arrives in Houston at 15:30 pm. If you are a passenger on this flight, please read the following important information concerning your safe departure from Belize. If you are not a passenger on this flight but are still interested in repatriating to the United States, please skip to step number 5. 1. Transportation: The Government of Belize has stated that due to the availability of public transportation options, all passengers must arrange their own travel to PGIA. Please arrive at the airport at least three hours before the flight departs.

Channel 7

Steep $$$ Cuts, No More Folgers In Gov't Offices, Bring Nescafe!
Government's finances are in the trash right about now; due to COVID 19, revenue collection is about half of what it used to be - and government is borrowing to pay its bills, and its public officers. A circular which went out yesterday from the Ministry of Finance shows how acute it is. Circular number 6 of 2020, dated May 19th warns public officers about a reduction in their monthly budget. It says, quote, "we are faced with the need to further curtail recurrent expenditure...Effective June first until further notice de-reservation of funds, except for personal emoluments will be reduced from 1/12th to 1/20th of the approved estimates." Now that probably just sounds like bureaucratese so we asked the Financial secretary via telephone what it means in real terms, and what it is indicative of for government's finances generally.

Education Minister Explains Consequence of Cuts On Education
Today, in Belmopan at an event for the FFB, aspiring UDP Leader Patrick Faber explained the circular and discussed what it means for education: "It is to kind of formalize and to say to ministries this is what you have to work with. I was one of those ministers who asked the Prime Minister, well, how it is that we're to operate? Because I think it is no secret that the income, the revenue for the government is cut. In fact, you've heard it is more than half of the income that we're not getting in these times. And how is that we're to operate in our ministry if we don't know exactly how much monies are going to come..."

Faber Still Wants The Top Job, Even After COVID-19
Indeed, those big cuts will leave many unhappy - part of the grim future that is in store for government finances generally. This year alone, the economy is expected to contract by 20%, leaving the debt to GDP ratio at a catastrophic 130%. I'll say that again: By next year April, our national debt could be 130% of our GDP. That's dire in the extreme - and it begs the questions who would want to lead a country at such a difficult juncture? Well, bet your bottom dollar that Patrick Faber would! He's been aiming for the top job since he was a teen, and even though he suffered a major setback earlier this year, today he told us that he still has his eyes on the prize, no matter how difficult the days that lie ahead:

When Will Schools Re-Open?
But the challenge he is facing right now is the re-opening of schools. And while there are talks about a timeline for the reopening of the tourism industry, have there been similar discussions within the Ministry of Education for the reopening of schools countrywide? For almost 2 months now, the nation's schoolchildren have been at a big disadvantage in their studies, and the school year is rapidly coming to a close. Officials in the United Kingdom are considering reopening schools in that country on June 1st. Mexico is in the process of a partial re-opening, while France has already re-opened.

A Security's Suicide At The Princess
And, sad news tonight from a major Belize City hotel. A security guard at the Princess Hotel and Casino has apparently committed suicide. Shortly before noon 24-year-old, Earl Underwood was found by one of his co-workers in the restroom, motionless and suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. 7News has learned that Underwood who had recently started working at the hotel had suffered a spate of bad luck.

Maya Won't Follow Tropic's Big Layoff
Last night we told you about the big layoffs at Tropic Air - 220 of its 380 employees are being sent home by the end of this month. The company says it can't continue with no set date for tourism. It is currently running about 5 flights a day, when it used to fly 200! And what about the other domestic airline, Maya Island? Well, they flew four flights today - so they are definitely feeling the pinch. Speaking with owner Eugene Zabaneh this evening he told us, quote, "the numbers are very very low."

Law Enforcement on Slippery Slope in San Victor
Tonight, Belize still has no positive cases for COVID 19. We're at day 37 without a positive test. But, that delicate and singular status is put in daily jeopardy by Belizeans who insist on skipping across the border to Mexico or Guatemala. Our next story is about just such a case in the northern village of San Victor. That's a village along the Rio Hondo where rogue contraband operators make organised runs across the border to bring back boatfuls of contraband. And, that's just what Customs came up on today. At least two vans loaded with contraband form Mexico that had been smuggled across by boat.

Cops Catch A Big Gun, May Have Come Across Western Border
And out west, it seems a foursome went across the border for a high powered handgun. Just after noon today, Cayo Special Branch went to Bullet tree village and searched a black GMC Terrain SUV for firearms and ammunition.

Nigel Pets Won't Back Down
Last night on the news you saw representatives of the Belmopan Land Development Corporation. They sent a strong message to Nigel Petillo saying the land at mile 44 is titled private land with an active owner. Well, activist Nigel Petillo heard them too and here was his reposes in a facebook rant today: "That news that was sent out last night, I am not satisfy with that. I don't want to hear anything about that, but it's no secret that lad is handing over big time to people with deep pockets and deep interest..."

Mile 44 is Held, Tightly
And while he spoke for 22 minutes on that Facebook live post, Petillo did not squarely address how he will treat with mile 44 after the owners have stepped up. Yesterday, former Central Bank Governor turned owner rep Glen Ysaguirre was clear enough: "I mean it's held property, you just can't come and take it. I mean I could sympathize with your need and its not to say I don't empathize with their situation that they want want, but you cannot have this piece of land unless you are prepare to compensate the company and I don't think the people that are there are prepare to compensate. They want free land."

Former C-Bank Governor Doesn't Envy Successor
And while he is now a land owner's rep, we also asked Ysaguirre about his former job as governor of the Central Bank. His successor Joy Grant is in the thick of what will be the country's deepest financial crisis in its independent history. We asked him about that:

Teachers Unions Opposed To C-Sec in July
Today, Education Minister Patrick Faber discussed the still-unresolved date for CSEC exams. On Monday, the Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT) sent out a press release expressing concerns that CARICOM's Council for Human and Social Development was considering a date in July for the exams. Their statement says, quote, "The... Union... is deeply concerned about the decision taken by the Councilto support the Administration of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) for the CSEC Examinations to be held in July 2020 contrary to the recommended position of the CUT for the sitting to be held in September 2020.

In The Absence of Graduations
And while the final date of the CXCs is still undetermined, another tough pill to swallow in the education system is that because of the COVID-19 threat, formal graduation ceremonies cannot happen. It's a highlight of all scholars to be celebrated and honored for their hard work in their education. But, because gatherings of more than 10 people are currently illegal, graduates will simply have to settle for receiving their diplomas. Today, the Education Minister told us that his ministry is still planning some kind of virtual event to pay respects to those hard-working students:

CDB Loan Not Cash In Hand
Earlier this week we told you about emergency loans that the Caribbean Development Bank is making to seven Caribbean countries. $15 million US is earmarked for Belize - but the Financial Secretary today explained that it is not cash in hand, but debt relief: Joe Waight- Financial Secretary: "The Board of Directors of CDB met earlier this week and approved a lone to the Government of Belize. The loan will then be used to meet our debt service payments to CDB for the next year..."

They're Coming Home, Slowly
Repatriation of Belizean citizens stuck in foreign countries since March has started - in very limited doses. We'll tell you about that shortly - but first to the process of what is being called controlled repatriation The hundreds of Belizeans in the US, the UK, Asia, Cuba and many other parts of the world are being asked to fill out a three page application for the government to figure out how to let them into the country in the most orderly and health-safe manner.

Stranded Mennonites Were Among First To Come Home
But the first to come home and test the system are those shipyard mennonites we told you about. As we told you a week ago, those 7 men including community leader, Juan Martinez had traveled to Peru to survey a land purchase and were deep in the Peruvian jungle when borders started to close. And while they left South America in time they got stuck right next door in Mexico - where they were stranded, fast running out of money, and options.

Big Ship Sailing On the Ocean, To Belize
And the first to arrive by sea could be the Cruise Ship called the Rhapsody of the Seas. That's the ship that Linda Blease is on along with about a dozen other Belizeans. They are rounding the tip of Honduras right now and expected to arrive din BELIZEAN waters on Saturday. But will they be allowed to get off the abbot in Belize? That's what we asked the CEO today: "The Rhapsody of the Sea cruise ship is heading to Belize right now. I don't know if you are aware of that or if anyone from the Ministry has been in contact with them. But apparently the ship is heading towards Belize. They are coming up the Atlantic coast in the Central American istmus. 15 Belizeans are onboard. Has there been any conversation with them?"

Of COVID Scares and Homecomings
And while Linda Blease and the other Belizeans on board the Rhapsody of the Seas have just a few days to fill their repatriation forms they are likely to be among the first to make a legal returns to our shores. And in another part of yesterday's interview, Blease told us what it was like living with the knowledge that she was banned from Belize's borders between March 23rd and last week Friday May 15th.

Patience Required For Repatriates
And while their ship is coming in - others who are stuck out there in the hinterlands can't wait to get back home. But, it's an orderly and measured repatriation and CEO Burns says patience will be necessary: "Our good people in foreign affairs have and even those in the ministry of health through their hotlines had been peppered with calls of people who want to come and I want to come home now and I want the process to be done by Friday or Thursday and I am expecting to reach the border by Saturday. No, I'm sorry, but for safety it is not that simple..."

When Will First Flight Come?
And a good many of those 200 are in the United States. They would much rather fly right into Belize than have to go through Cancun, and then take a bus to Belize. One idea was that they could come on US flights bound for Belize to pickup American who are stranded here. Those flights are leaving the US empty. The ambassador SAID IT IS A possibility for as early as Friday:

Quarantine Centres To Be In City
And once they get here, where will Belizeans be quarantined? The PM had said it would be close to their towns, cities or villages of residence. But, so far, it seems like it will start off in Belize City: "Initially, I think in the early phases we will need to concentrate on having people quarantined in specific areas. For their own safety and for the safety of others. Initially it is most probable, it is most likely that we would have those who return in the earlier stages in one or two locations in Belize City, preferably one."

Bze Musicians Singing The Blues Right Now
And switching topics now we turn to music. While technology allows us to continue to enjoy music in quarantine, the experience of a live show, or DJ set has become just one more sacrifice we've made to the pestilence that is COVID-19. And what is a musician without the roar of a crowd? Well, they aren't exactly thriving, and this afternoon Cherisse Halsall spoke to four musicians to find out how they're keeping the music alive while on lockdown.

FFB Stadium Steps Up With New Bleachers
Earlier in the news, we shared the comments of Education Minister Patrick Faber on a number of important national topics. We caught up with him at a ground-breaking ceremony for Football Federation of Belize. They are about to make a 2 million-dollar upgrade to the bleachers of their stadium, which is located at their Belmopan Headquarters. This upgrade will complement its state-of-the-art football pitch. According to the football executives, when the works are fully completed, their FFB stadium will be at the highest FIFA standards. It will allow the FFB to lobby for big international tournaments to be hosted in Belize

Mental Health, More Important Now Than Ever
May is being observed internationally as Mental Health Awareness Month. Right now the issue is in sharp focus because COVID 19 has us all stressed out in one way or the other, and just managing that is a strain on your mental health.

Through The Botes Backdoor?
Police have quarantined a Mexican man who was caught near Santa Cruz village, across thew river from smuggling hotspot Rotes, Mexico.

Stealing Power Leads to Fires
Last week, we told you about the house fire which devastated Hattieville resident Dorian Garnett. On the night of May 9th, his home in the Windmill area of the village completely burnt down. It's the kind of distress that no one needs to endure, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, but an investigation from the National Fire Service has indicated that the misery is self-inflicted. That's because, according to the experts, he was stealing power from BEL.

Belize Confounded COVID With Science?
Belize is the only country on the American mainland that has managed to avoid a confirmed case for more than a month. Now, a Canadian Newspaper is claiming that technology is at the forefront of Belize's COVID-19 efforts. An article published on Monday claims that a secret weapon developed locally, which drove decisions on a day-to-day basis. It goes on to say that quote: "a small group of software developers, statisticians, and health professionals got together and designed their own in-house tracking, tracing, and reporting platform for Covid19, possibly one of the earliest such integrated efforts in the Americas." End quote.

Channel 5

Public Transportation Takes a Hit, Tropic Air Faces Massive Layoffs
The once booming tourism industry has been hardest hit as COVID-19 continues to wreck havoc to the economy.  On Tuesday night, we reported that Tropic Air is cutting staff; today [...]

Salary Cuts at the Government-owned Digi
The cut backs are not exclusive to the domestic airline industry; every sector has had to make adjustments, including telecommunications. Over at Digi, a tiered approach to cuts in salary is [...]

Changes in the De-Reservation of Monthly Recurrent Expenditure to Ministries, Departments
As you have heard, the economy continues to shrink and with it, hundreds more join the unemployment numbers. Government is struggling with an astronomical monthly wage bill of forty-five million [...]

How Would Patrick Faber Solve Economic Situation in Belize?
Still on the economic downturn…last week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow famously said that he intends to borrow and borrow to keep public officers employed.  But the PM also warned that [...]

Education Minister Says Teachers’ Salaries Will Not Be Touched
Minister of Education, Patrick Faber says that there will be cuts in some of the services that his ministry offers in the days ahead, as a matter of priority to [...]

Are There Illegal Crossings Happening in Arenal?
Today marks thirty-seven days straight without any active case of COVID-19 in Belize.  And while this is good news for the country as it continues to relax restriction measures, the [...]

Nigel Petillo – “Where Does a Land Owner Pop Up From?”
There has been a turn of events in respect of a huge tract of land on the George Price Highway. The Belmopan Land Development Corporation has come forward to claim [...]

Belmopan Land Development Corporation Claims Cotton Tree Land
According to Ysaguirre, the land in question had been tangled in the courts for a number of years and a decision was eventually handed down in favour of Belmopan Land [...]

Education Minister Patrick Faber Agrees C-SEC Exams Should Be Held in July
The Caribbean Union of Teachers on Tuesday went on the offensive, vehemently registering its concerns over the decision to hold C-SEC examinations in July. The CUT says the decision to [...]

Faber Says Students Should Be Prepared for C-SEX Exams
According to Minister Faber, students and teachers should now be getting ready to sit the exams in July, even though they were not in the classrooms due to the COVID-19 [...]

What About Graduation and Fees Collected?
So while the CSEC exams have been rescheduled for July, the traditional pomp and circumstance associated with graduation ceremonies are not in the pipeline at this time. Most students to [...]

When Will Schools Reopen?
Education Minister Patrick Faber was also asked about a timeline for the reopening of schools. In some other countries such as the UK and Mexico, schools have partially reopened. As [...]

Patrick Faber Remains Ready to Lead the U.D.P.
Since we had the Minister of Education on hand, the media queried about his leadership bid. Faber is one of four persons who have entered his name in the leadership [...]

Repatriation Process for Displaced Belizean Abroad Commences
The repatriation process for displaced Belizeans overseas to return home is in the making.  Belize has not recorded another positive case for COVID-19 for more than thirty days and the [...]

What’s the Cost of Quarantine? $110 Per Day!
Belizeans who return home will be required to go into mandatory quarantine at a chosen hotel. They will bear the cost of that quarantine and according to C.E.O. Lou-Anne Burns [...]

Would Belizeans Returning Home Will Be Able To Self Quarantine?
According to C.E.O. Martinez, those returning home will need to adhere to strict safety guidelines. The choice to self-quarantine will be given only to a selected few after they meet [...]

Repatriation Process Can Take A Few Days
The repatriation process for Belizeans will not be achieved over night. According to C.E.O. Martinez, the process can take a few days or even a week. Martinez is asking for [...]

Security Guard Found Dead in Hotel Bathroom
We don’t normally report on suicide, but today a shooting incident brought to light the toll that the COVID-19 pandemic may be having on persons struggling with mental health issues, [...]

Patrick Faber on Mental Health Awareness Month
The month of May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month. It is a difficult time as the COVID-19 pandemic is posing unprecedented challenges. There are different forms of mental [...]

DFC’s “A Helping Hand, COVID-19 Relief Effort”
A hundred selected families are having a little ease tonight coping from the pain of the COVID-19 crisis. The families were beneficiaries of an initiative by the Development Finance Corporation [...]

Groundbreaking for New Bleachers at the F.F.B. Stadium
The F.F.B. stadium in Belmopan is getting a major facelift. The first phase of a construction project is set to begin shortly. Valued at two point four million dollars, today, [...]

The Reporter

Warning from Commissioner of Police Chester Williams
Commissioner of Police Chester Williams has sent out a stern warning to those establishments which have been allowed to open under the latest SI. Following advertisements for beach parties, functions and drink specials, Williams reminds that alcohol must be served only with food, and not as a primary attraction, and mass social functions are still not allowed.

LOVE FM

Hotels prepared to quarantine returning Belizeans
As you may have heard from CEO Burns the Government has identified hotels as quarantine centres for repatriated Belizeans. The procedure is that when they arrive in Belize they will have to undergo a quarantine process for two weeks to ensure that they are Covid-19 free.

Earl Underwood had too many burdens to bear
Keeping in line with mental health, often times when the signs and symptoms go unchecked it can lead to suicide. Ordinarily, our newsroom stays away from these types of stories but in this case, we feel the need to highlight the story as falls on the backdrop of mental health issues amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rightful owners of Mile 44 land identified
The owners of the two-point-five acres of land at mile forty-four on the George Price Highway have come out to assert that they will take legal action against anyone who infringes on the private land. This area became a point of contention when Nigel Petillo and hundreds of other citizens began lobbying for squatters rights.

NEMO feeds the nurses
The National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) has been engaged in helping residents through different avenues, including the donation to care packages to needy families. The NEMO Minister, Edmund Castro, is continuing this initiative by feeding frontline workers.

Foreign Affairs CEO speaks on repatriation process
As a follow up to our story on the repatriation exercise for Belizeans, we can tell you that quarantine centres are almost ready to receive those coming home. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Anne Lou Burns, spoke on the cost of the quarantine process that will have to be the responsibility of those coming home and not for the government to pay.

Woman without food is given assistance
Eleven days ago, we told you of 59-year-old Margaret Flores who said she was one of the forgotten ones in the Covid-19 Relief Programme. She explained that at the time she had no food in her house, no money and that she had trouble filling out the forms for assistance.

CDB loan broken down by FinSec
One form of help that is coming to the Government of Belize is the loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) which we told you about earlier this week. The loan is for fifteen million US dollars. Financial Secretary Joseph Waight explained how this money will be utilized.

Faber aspires to be the next UDP leader and Prime Minister
Elections are less than one year away, and the next elected Prime Minister will have to deal with the current loans being made to address the economic hardships and the job to reboot the economy.

Over two hundred unemployed at Tropic Air amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Over two hundred men and women will add to the thousands who have become unemployed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The layoff is reportedly being done at Tropic Air who currently has an estimated four hundred persons employed. Reports indicate that for the last two months the company has retained all its staff at reduced salaries, but they can no longer sustain this exercise

Edmund Castro embarks on new business amid COVID-19 economic impacts
With the recent order from the Ministry of Finance to scale back on deparmtnetal expenses, we sought responses from Ministers to see how they will handle the reduced expenditure. Minister Anthony Boots Martinez says he will be more prepared to give us a response following a meeting with his ministry tomorrow.

Cruise ships returning to Belize
Several Belizeans who are employed by cruise lines are expected to arrive home this week. Foreign Affairs CEO, Anne Lou Burns says while they are aware of the cruise lines none of the Belizeans aboard.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Suriname finds positive COVID-19 case after 44 days, provides lesson for Belize?
The South-American nation Suriname discovered a positive COVID-19 test this week, ending a 44-day streak […]

Security guard shot at Princess identified
The security guard who reportedly shot himself at the Ramada Belize City Princess hotel earlier […]

Belize Tourism Board endorses new health and safety travel magazine from McNab Publishing
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is endorsing the upcoming magazine “Tourism Health and Safety: The […]

When will face to face classes in schools resume?
International travel, like in-person classes, are on an abrupt halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. […]

Security guard shoots himself at Princess Hotel
A security guard reportedly shot himself to the head inside the restroom at the Princess […]

Inconveniences persist at Baking Pot Ferry
Several workers have contacted BBN sharing their concern over the unattended Baking Pot Ferry. Due […]

Inconveniences persist at Baking Pot Ferry
Several workers have contacted BBN sharing their concern over the unattended Baking Pot Ferry. Due […]

Government of Belize Congratulates Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen on second term
The Government of Belize has extended its congratulations to President of the Republic of China […]

Belize remains COVID-19 free; random testing continue
Belize has managed to control the first wave of COVID-19. The country saw 18 cases […]

Police Commissioner warns restaurants to comply with State of Emergency regulations
Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams, issued a warning via social media today, cautioning restaurants and […]

John Saldivar weighs in on post-Covid economic recovery
Former UDP Leader-elect, John Saldivar weighed in last night about the economic instability that the […]

OB’s orange and tropical juices – the kind of business to support post COVID-19
You may have heard about or tasted O’Brien’s refreshing Orange Juice. The O’Brien family produces […]

Blogs

Mike Heusner’s Advocacy for Belize’s Catch-and-Release Sport Fishing
When you talk to a fisherman, a real fisherman, you are talking to a steward of the water. He’s a lover of fish – angry about the vast plastic poisoning the sea and fishery mismanagement. Most of all, a real fisherman wants fishing to survive into the next generation and beyond – a sustainable sport. That’s partly why catch-and-release practices have gained popularity in recent years: saltwater fly-fishing, a fast and athletic catch-and-release sport that seems more like hunting than fishing, is what fuels interest today. Mike Heusner is a pillar for conservation in Belize, joining tireless advocacy efforts before him to redefine Belize’s sport fishing industry into a game of catch-and-release only.

BTB Endorses 2020 “Belize Gold Book” Travel Publication
In a letter to stakeholders on May 19th, 2020, the Belize Tourism Board endorsed the Belize Gold Book which has seen some changes in order to adapt to COVID-19 crisis. Introducing the Tourism Health & Safety: The Gold Standard for Belize Travel. While Belize continues to prepare for the reopening of tourism to international visitors, it is important to safeguard the health and safety of both residents and guests. As such, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) has been actively working with indsutry partners to develop enhanced health and safety protocols for the tourism industry.

International Sourcesizz

Call for Proposals: The U.S International Development Finance Corporation (DFC)
The U.S International Development Financial Corporation Announces Call for Proposals Under New Global Health and Prosperity Initiative. Through the initiative, DFC aims to mobilize private sector investment in support of global health resilience. DFC will focus attention on projects that support the global COVID-19 pandemic response, especially through investment in health system capacity, including supply chains that expand the distribution of diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, and other medical supplies, products, and equipment.

Johnson & Johnson to stop selling talc baby powder in U.S. and Canada
Beware as these will continue to be on store shelves in Belize. Johnson & Johnson will stop selling its talc Baby Powder in the United States and Canada, it announced on Tuesday, saying demand had fallen in the wake of what it called “misinformation” about the product’s safety amid a barrage of legal challenges.

CDB provides US$67 million in emergency loans to seven Caribbean countries
Seven countries in the region will benefit from Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) emergency loans that will finance their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier today, the CDB’s board of directors approved the disbursement of US$66.7 million for Antigua and Barbuda (US$13 million), Belize (US$15 million), Dominica (US$2.5 million), Grenada (US$5.9 million), Saint Lucia (US$10.8 million), St Vincent and the Grenadines (US$11.3 million), and Suriname (US$8.2 million).

The coronavirus pandemic and thoughts about planet earth
By Wellington C Ramos. The coronavirus pandemic is having a major impact on many families throughout the world. The biggest fear for many is that it will shatter their unaccomplished dreams, stop some to enjoy what they have accomplished in their lives, or leave a burden for their families to endure. The reality is that we cannot escape death so we must prepare our lives in total by including death in our plans. If we do not die from the coronavirus, we will die from something else but it is still death. When a human being is born into this world, most people especially the parents want the best for their children throughout their lifetime. However, for that to happen it starts with the mother and father taking care of their parental responsibilities up until the child becomes an adult. If anyone of the parent fails in taking care of his or her responsibility, that can have a major impact on the success or lack of success of their children and there are statistics to confirm this.

Videos

  • WHO Media briefing on COVID-19 (20 May 2020), 54min. WHO Director-General's opening remarks at the media briefing on COVID-19 - 20 May 2020

  • Wednesday's "Ask the Experts", min. Ask your questions in the comment section during the live stream! Joining us today is the CEO of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Lou-Anne Burns Martinez to discuss the repatriation process for Belizeans displaced abroad.

  • Peter Lawrence on ReefTV, 2hr15min.

  • Groundbreaking Ceremony for FFB Bleachers Project, 41min.

  • Belize Zoo Virtual Tour, 6min. Missing the world's best little zoo? Don't worry, we'll bring it to you! A virtual tour of the The Belize Zoo and a chance to meet some of our wildest residents. Experience the world’s best little zoo, as some of its wonderful keepers introduce us to its wild residents. If you’ve always dreamed of seeing Charlie the Scarlet Macaw, or Indy the tapir, now you can meet them virtually in today’s LIVE!

  • Belize Bird Rescue with Jonathan, 30min. Join us on a virtual livestream in exotic Belize with our local guide Jonathan! Jonathan has an Associate’s Degree in Wildlife Biology & Conservation, and has worked for many years with Nikki Buxton, founder of the Belize Bird Rescue. Spend Friday meeting a rainbow of birds and the people who make a difference in their lives! Jonathan will also show off his country's lovely people, ancient Mayan cities and emerald green forests.

  • Trip to Mayan City of Cahal Pech in Belize, 5min. Trip from my home on the island of Ambergris Caye to the town of San Ignacio, and the ruins of the Mayan city Cahal Pech.

  • Belize Awaits, 1.5min. A little distance now, a world of new experiences later. Belize, along with the rest of Central America, will be waiting for you when we are ready to travel again. From revisiting our Ancient Maya cities to basking in the beauty of our rainforests, it’ll soon be time to rediscover our Jewel.

  • Here's a rare look at what life in mangrove forests is like, 1min. Much of the coast is covered by mangroves, which not only offer shoreline protection from storms and hurricanes but also serve as nurseries and habitats for a wide range of commercially and biologically important species.

  • Belize Trip 2020, 3min. This year my family lost a beautiful soul, Granny Precy. She lived to see 97!!! While in Belize, we celebrated her life with family, music, good food and lots of happy tears and laughter. Our trips home to Belize won’t be the same without her. This video is a tribute to her life and also our Garifuna culture.

  • Welcome to Mahogany Bay Resort in San Pedro, Belize, 2min.

  • Jamal Galves is the Program Coordinator at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, 35min. He gave us an educational talk about the work they do in animal conservation. The highlight of today's talk was learning about the whale that was recently found in our waters. He shared the significance of this incident and how they plan to learn from it for further research and education.

  • Grace Flava With A Beat was back today with an interesting recipe, 23min. Resident Chef, Duane Lizama, prepared Coconut Stew Garbanzo dish and a Vegan Lentil Ceviche. You can get the packages of Chick Peas at your nearest Grace Kennedy Belize Ltd. Vendor.

  • Sandy Bradshaw and Shanya Garnett will be hosting the "Roots Home Concert", 29min. Entertainment is changing and we are seeing a lot of Facebook concerts to keep people "vibing" in these times of lock down. Sandy Bradshaw and Shanya Garnett will be hosting the "Roots Home Concert" on May 30th at 7:30 pm on Facebook. We talked with the mother-daughter duo about how they are using their talents to bring music into your homes.

  • Dean Flowers, First Vice President of the Public Service Union, 30min. We got an update from Dean Flowers, First Vice President of the Public Service Union about the talks to arrive at an agreement about GOB's proposed cost-saving measures. He explained the unions position and how he hopes the discussion will conclude.

  • Tanya Mcnab is the Creative Director at Mcnab Publishing Ltd, 20min. They have partnered with the Belize Tourism Board to create a publication that presents a comprehensive response to the demands on the industry in the wake of COVID-19. The publication shares tourism health standards in both print and digital formats.“Tourism Health and Safety: The Gold Standard for Belize Travel”will be available in June 2020.

  • Supa G stopped by to debut his latest song and video, 28min. Get ready to post those Tik Toks as the song is catchy and comes with its own dance. "Cherikanare" is out now and we spoke to him and Cyril Uruwei of UBAFI Entertainment about the process of filming the video.

  • Mindfulness Episode 1, 7min. RESTORE Belize has trained teachers from St. John's Anglican and Queen Street Baptist Primary Schools, and Maud Williams High School in many trauma-sensitive techniques. In this video, Alex Vega, Safe Schools Coordinator at RESTORE Belize discusses mindfulness.
  • Kudzae - More Than, 4min. Kudzae has released a new single: More Than. You can listen to it on Youtube. It's a relaxing song, which is what we need right now. "Here's my New Single "MORE THAN" from The LOYALTY Project. As you listen I hope it encourages and inspires you, I pray it brings you hope and reminds you of the God that is MORE THAN anything we are facing today.

  • Cute baby kinkajou!, 12sec. Brief news snippet. Few posts usually mean we are too busy and at this time of year it’s often the babies that keep our team busy around the clock. While we continue to look for new funding sources in lack of tourism, we wanted to share some better news and a brief video of one of the orphaned Kinkajous at the end of his meal (nearly falling asleep but still complaining a bit :) Note that once their eyes are open we usually keep them covered or facing away from humans to minimize visual stimuli of humans.

  • Boat Ride to Kalipuna Island, 1/2min. Boat ride to Palmento Grove Garifuna Eco-Cultural Lodge. Hopkins Village, Belize, Central American

  • Christmas, Butterfly farm, beaches, Mayan ruins and Guatemala, 57min. This was my annual trip to visit my family in Belize. I got to see some new things and some old things.

  • Belize - Spotted Drum (Juvenile), 1min. Most of the time we focus on finding the big stuff.. All those big creatures were once upon a time small and cute.

  • Belize - Hawksbill Sea turtle, 1min. Passive sea creature sometimes even shy.. I can safely say I love turtles

  • FISHING FOR TREVALLY | TEAM JRUBIO, 10min.

  • Meet one of Belize's fine Artisan Emilio Perera and his unique creations, 1.5min.

  • Tour of the Malate Museum in Progresso Village, 19min. Let's take a tour of the Malate Museum in Progresso Village with curator Mrs.Cherry Mae Lamb. Miss Cherry Mae's passion for collecting began at an early age and inevitably led to showcasing her collection when she opened her museum doors in 2017. She is a member of the Museum Association of Belize. Cherry Mae is an excellent story teller as well. This video was part of the 2018 International Museum Day activities introducing our cultural museums to the world.