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Voice of the Nation Series 2 Successful. Next panel discussion in September

POND ISLAND - JCI LIVE Soualiga held its second edition, The Voice of The Nation with a Panel discussion with seven (7) Political Parties on Sint Maarten. The topic discussed was Education and Economics Affairs, the sustainable project is based on how JCI LIVE Soualiga analyse the needs in the communities create impact and awareness on Sint Maarten as well as promoting leadership.

This event took place at the University of St. Maarten on the 21st May, 2016 at 7pm.The different Parties Representatives were DP Giselle York-Missoudan S.M.C.P which was represented by Benjamin Bell, O.S.S.P represented by Elton Jones, NA represented by Dr. Rudolph Samuel, U.P represented by MP Tamara Leonard, CPA Charles Richardson, and H.O.P.E represented by Loekie Morales. The People from the different communities came out and give their opinions and share ideas and also posed questions during the event.

Each Panellist was given an equal platform to share their party’s goals and objectives towards education for our country Sint.Maarten. It is persuasively clear that now and in the future if given the opportunity to the representatives and also what the present government is working on to ensure sustainable development and economics growth on the island as members of parliament. The audience posed questions and give their feedback to the political parties. “The Voice of the Nation Series 2”turned out to be very successful, interesting and informative evening.

On behalf of leadership team of JCI LIVE Soualiga we would like to thank all Politicians that participated on behalf of their parties, salute to PJD2 Radio (lady grace) and SOS 95.9 (Billy D) for sponsoring our promotion for the event also the public for coming out to support this prestigious event.  The next edition 3 will be in September.

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Residents urged to prepare ahead of the 2016 hurricane season. Possible development of a system still remains

SINT MAARTEN/CARIBBEAN – With the start of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season less than two weeks away, Antigua climatologist Dale Destin is calling on residents to prepare for the season and to do so early.

Dale said the best time to prepare is when there is no storm system around.  The stress level of preparation is low and is more able to think clearly.

The National Emergency Operations Centre of the Cayman Islands already started its annual hurricane exercise last week to test preparedness of emergency response groups.

Cayman emergency responders are preparing for an active hurricane season due to the fact that El Nino, a weather system which hampered the development of storm systems in 2015 is expected to diminish and lead to a La Nina which allows the Atlantic to become active with powerful storms.

In the meantime, tropical development remains possible this coming weekend from The Bahamas to the Eastern Gulf Of Mexico, according to Crown Weather.

“An upper level trough of low pressure is expected to track across the eastern United States and the western Atlantic over the next few days. This trough of low pressure is forecast by all of the forecast guidance to lift out and be replaced by a upper level ridge of high pressure by the middle to end of next week. It is expected, however, that a piece of energy will be left behind in the Bahamas by about Friday of next week where it will need to be monitored very closely for signs of tropical development next weekend in an area that stretches from the Bahamas westward to the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

“All of the latest model guidance, including the GFS, European and Canadian models, shows that there seems to be an increasing chance that we may see an area of disturbed weather form over the Bahamas during next weekend. From there, the GFS model guidance forecasts this disturbed weather will strengthen into a tropical cyclone in the eastern Gulf of Mexico on Memorial Day and then meander around the Gulf of Mexico throughout the first 4 or 5 days of June.

“The European model guidance forecasts any area of disturbed weather may track across the Florida Peninsula on Memorial Day and become a broad area of low pressure in the north-eastern Gulf of Mexico by May 31st.

“The Canadian model guidance forecasts that an area of low pressure may form in the northern Bahamas next Sunday and then track north-north-eastward and strengthen into a tropical storm by Memorial Day as it tracks across eastern North Carolina.

“Turning to the ensemble guidance, the GFS ensemble model guidance forecasts low pressure to form near Grand Bahama Island next Sunday. A majority of the ensemble members forecast that this low pressure system may track north-north-westward just off of Florida’s east coast on Memorial Day. Ultimately, a majority of the GFS ensemble guidance members forecasts this system will come ashore along the South Carolina coast on May 31st. It should be noted that a few of the GFS ensemble guidance members show a track into the eastern Gulf of Mexico rather than a track towards the US Southeast Atlantic coast.

“Here Are My Thoughts: It needs to be emphasized that we should not focus on any one particular model guidance forecast because these forecasts will change in the coming days. Instead, we need to focus on the upcoming weather pattern change into one that features a upper level high pressure system over the north-eastern United States and a piece of energy that sits over the Bahamas next weekend. This type of weather pattern has, in the past, produced tropical systems and this is what I’m looking at for next weekend rather than concentrating on any one particular model forecast.

“At this point, I think that at the minimum we will see an area of disturbed weather persist over the Bahamas and parts of the Florida Peninsula starting around next Saturday and then remain over the Bahamas and the Florida Peninsula through next Sunday and Memorial Day. Whether this area of disturbed weather strengthens into a tropical depression or a tropical storm remains to be seen and it is something that will need to be monitored closely.”

Crown Weather puts development between 10 and 20 percent chance that we will see a tropical depression or a tropical storm form somewhere between the Bahamas and the eastern Gulf of Mexico between May 28th and June 1st. “If we continue to see consistency in the weather data that supports tropical development over the Memorial Day weekend, then the chances for tropical development will be increased,” Crown Weather concludes.

SOUALIGA NEWSDAY REPORT     

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MP Wescot-Williams cautions against presenting re-instatement of St. Maarten on UN list of non-self-governing territory

PHILIPSBURG –I believe MP (Ed Member of Parliament) Cornelius de Weever got a little overzealous when he suggested placing the matter of reinstating St. Maarten on the UN's list of non-self-governing territories on the IPKO (Ed Inter-parliamentary Kingdom Consultation) agenda for next week. A move promptly endorsed by MP Meyers. This basically means re-listing St. Maarten as a colony,” Democratic Party (MP) Sarah Wescot-Williams said in a press release on Sunday evening.


“For starters, the IPKO agenda is determined by consensus of all 4 parliaments.
More importantly however is the fact that in the context this proposal was brought by the Independence for St. Maarten Foundation, the reinstatement is to "facilitate international support for our quest for political freedom".

“This decision on political freedom (independence) however is one yet to be taken by the people of St. Maarten. The parliament in my opinion therefore is not (yet) in any position to lobby reinstatement of St. Maarten in the UN listing of non-self-governing territories.

“So I caution against, even with our Curacao and Aruba counterparts, presenting this issue as one agreed to by the parliament and people of St. Maarten. Again, in my opinion, 6 years of country status are insufficient to start on a new political process.

“Not only that, but the many challenges ahead require our best efforts and undivided attention. One of those challenges is the devising  of a roadmap to take St. Maarten to the next stage of its development. A roadmap, I again emphasize, that should place a lot of emphasis on nation building, inclusion and social cohesion,” MP Sarah Wescot-Williams pointed out.

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Gasoline and diesel pump prices increase on Friday

PHILIPSBURG – On Friday, May 20, fuel pump prices will be adjusted upward for gasoline and diesel. 

The current price of unleaded gasoline is Naf.1.721 per liter; the new price will be Naf.1.763 per liter.

The current price of diesel is Naf.1.164 per liter; the new price will be Naf.1.222 per liter.

The Government of Sint Maarten regulates the prices of petroleum products by imposing a maximum price at which wholesalers and retailers can sell these products in the country to motorists.

On the international level, the prices of crude oil have experienced adjustments and local prices follow the international trend, and therefore prices are adjusted to reflect this. 

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Police reacts to illegal use of official police logo

PHILIPSBURG - On Tuesday May 17th the Police management team has been confronted with the issue that a poster designed by an unknown person or persons has been publicized on which the KPSM (Police Force Sint Maarten) logo and a picture of a police vehicle are used as part of the promotion.

This poster is a public invitation to join the promoters for a “Happy Hour” from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Casa Blanca every first Friday of every month in support “Law Enforcement Appreciation Day”.

The police management team totally denies having any knowledge of, any involvement in the production of this poster and more over giving authorization to anyone, any business or businesses to use the official police logo as part of any type business promotion.

The official police logo does not belong to any private entity, but is property of the government of Country Sint Maarten. This logo should not be used for other purposes than it is designed for, without the proper authorization.

The police management will be contacting the person or persons responsible for this promotional poster, to have it removed form the Internet and to explain the negative impact and negative consequences this promotion poster could have.

The police force is prepared to take all legal actions against anyone who uses the police logo in an unlawful manner. (Police Force Sint Maarten)

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UP Party Board Refutes MP Lake Statement on Payment of Dues

PHILIPSBURG – The Board of the United People’s Party (UP) has taken note of a statement made by Member of Parliament (MP) Maurice Lake on Sunday at a press conference concerning the payment of party dues, the UP stated in a press statement on Tuesday.

"UP candidates who ran in the 2014 parliamentary elections were asked to make a monthly contribution to the party in the form of dues in order to cover the costs of campaign material for the candidates.

"Each candidate signed the automatic bank transfer authorization, but if MP Lake had looked carefully at his bank statements, he would have noticed that nothing was deducted from his bank account.

"MP Maurice Lake also has not officially resigned from the UP Party as we have nothing officially on file.

"The UP Board emphatically states that the Party has not received any dues paid in cash or by cheque or via bank transfer into the UP Party bank account since Lake has been an MP.

"The UP Board finds it very strange that MP Lake would make such a public statement when he knows that it is baseless.  The media should question the MP further and ask him to show proof of payments being made," the UP Party press release said.

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Minister of Telecommunications Congratulates those working in the field on World Telecommunications and Information Society Day

GREAT BAY, (DCOMM) – Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (Ministry TEATT) Ingrid Arrindell on Tuesday, 17th of May congratulated, via a press statement, all telecommunication-sector workers on World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD), which is being internationally observed today.

The theme for WTISD is “ICT entrepreneurship for social impact.”

May 17th has been identified as a day to help raise awareness of the opportunities that the use of the internet, and other information and communication technologies (ICT), can bring to societies and economies, as well as the ability of the internet to bridge the digital divide.

“Developments in telecommunications and information technology, today form the basis of nearly everything we do.   Times have changed, and we live in a different world - a digital world.  I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all telecommunication workers, as well as all those working in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) field on their special day.  The tasks that you perform daily are critical to our economy and daily life, as just about everything is digitally driven.  Many systems are dependent on telecommunications and ICT, and both are indeed the drivers of innovation.

“I call on small and medium-sized businesses to seize the opportunity to innovate, through the use of ICT, to create products and services that will create the new digital Sint Maarten economy.  We must think outside of the box in the 21st century and stretch the imagination as far as it can go.  We must project where we as a country should be fifty years from now.” 

“Technological innovations will continue to improve the quality of our lives. For example, when we can sit at our computer and pay all of our bills instead of driving to GEBE, TelEm/UTS, Cable TV, etc. This increases productivity by saving time – no spending time standing in long lines to pay a bill, this helps the environment - saves gas, and this alleviates traffic congestion on our roads”. 

Our young entrepreneurs-to-be and those who have graduated, we need your expertise to harness the power of the digital world from a Sint Maarten perspective.  Let us work together to create a Sint Maarten digital revolution and develop this sector where jobs are created for our young, bright and vibrant minds.

May 17th marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention in 1865 and the creation of the United Nations International Telecommunication Union (ITU).  This year marks the 151st anniversary of ITU.

May 17th is a day to reflect upon where we are today and where we want to be 50-years from now.  We must not sit back and wait on others, but jump-start and take the lead in the digital age.  I challenge our youth and young entrepreneurs to become the digital pioneers of our country,” Minister Ingrid Arrindell said on Tuesday.

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WHO/PAHO statement on Zika virus and the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games

SINT MAARTEN - The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) recognize that athletes and visitors are seeking more information on the risks of Zika and ways to prevent infection while attending the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games (5 August to 18 September 2016).

Brazil is one of the 58 countries and territories which to-date report continuing transmission of Zika virus by mosquitoes. While mosquitoes are the primary vectors, a person infected with Zika virus can also transmit the virus to another person through unprotected sex.

Zika virus disease usually causes mild symptoms (1), and most people will not develop any symptoms. However, there is scientific consensus that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly (children being born with unusually small heads) and other brain malformations and disorders in babies born to women who were infected with Zika virus during pregnancy, and Guillain-Barré syndrome (a rare but serious neurological disorder that could lead to paralysis and death).

Athletes and visitors to Rio de Janeiro, and other areas where Zika virus is circulating, are being encouraged to

  • follow the travel advice(2) provided by WHO and their countries' health authorities, and consult a health worker before travelling;
  • whenever possible, during the day, protect themselves from mosquito bites by using insect repellents and by wearing clothing – preferably light-coloured – that covers as much of the body as possible;
  • practice safer sex (e.g. use condoms correctly and consistently) or abstain from sex during their stay and for at least four weeks after their return, particularly if they have had or are experiencing symptoms of Zika virus;
  • choose air-conditioned accommodation (windows and doors are usually kept closed to prevent the cool air from escaping, and mosquitoes cannot enter the rooms);
  • avoid visiting impoverished and over-crowded areas in cities and towns with no piped water and poor sanitation (ideal breeding grounds of mosquitoes) where the risk of being bitten is higher. Pregnant women continue to be advised not to travel to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission. This includes Rio de Janeiro.

Pregnant women continue to be advised not to travel to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission. This includes Rio de Janeiro. Pregnant women's sex partners returning from areas with circulating virus continue to be counselled to practice safer sex or abstain throughout the pregnancy (3). The Games will take place during Brazil's wintertime when there are fewer active mosquitoes and the risk of being bitten is lower.

WHO/PAHO is providing public health advice to the Government of Brazil and, under a Memorandum of Understanding, the International Olympic Committee and, by extension, the Rio 2016 Local Organizing Committee, on ways to further mitigate the risk of athletes and visitors contracting Zika virus during the Games. An important focus of WHO advice revolves around measures to reduce populations of Aedes mosquitoes which transmit chikungunya, dengue and yellow fever in addition to Zika virus.

WHO/PAHO will continue to monitor the Zika virus transmission and risks in Brazil and in other affected areas to provide updates on how Zika virus outbreaks, risks and prevention interventions develop between now and August and beyond.

(1) Symptoms include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, and headache.
(2) Travel advice from WHO
(3) Prevention of sexual transmission

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Miss Mature Queen 2016 Visits Seniors

ST. JOHN’S ESTATE - Miss TelCell Mature Queen 2016; Norrisa Anatol commenced her royal duties by treating the moms at the White & Yellow Cross Foundation Sint Martin’s Home for Mother’s Day on May 8th 2016.

Ms. Anatol along with her TeamRissa entourage started off the event with a prayer, uplifting hymns and provided words of encouragement to the clients.  Ms. Anatol reminded the mothers that they are the sweetest gift from Gods to us. There is no way we can ever really thank our mother for all they do for us nevertheless, we must make it a habit to keep reminding ourselves of the various sacrifices they made while raising us.

The moms were treated to hair and nail care and received a rose to remind them of how truly special they are. The male clients were not left out as everyone were treated to cake and drink refreshments, danced to songs of Mighty Sparrow and engaged in productive conversations.

"Today I felt personally touched by this unique experience but definitely elated to have spent Mother's Day with our seniors to kick off my reign Miss TelCell Mature Queen 2016," remarked Norissa Anatol. Also in attendance to assist in this event were the Miss Mature delegates Valeska Laurant, Vivienne Horsford and Jocelyne Pantophlet.

“I am thankful to Mariane Pantophlet and the staff of the White and Yellow Cross Foundation Saint Martin’s Home for allowing me to carry out this event, Lydia’s Flowershop and Cleon Frederick for their contribution and my entire TeamRissa and delegates for their assistance. My team and I will continue to reach out to the community and I encourage others to do the same," Anatol concluded.

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