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Allies & the History of Rights: Topics of IHRD 2018.

safe10122018PHILIPSBURG – On Monday, December 10, 2018, St. Maarten/St. Martin Alliance For Equality (SAFE SXM) and L’alliance en faveur de l’egalite (SAFE Lefdl) in collaboration with the University of St. Martin will be holding its 4th International Human Rights Day Lecture at 7:00 pm in room 202.
The lecture, which was held annually in the first three years of the organization, was skipped last year due to circumstances beyond SAFE SXM’s control. This year two lectures of 15 minutes each will be delivered by Clara Reyes, who will focus on “The importance of being an Ally” and Cassandra Richardson, who will examine “The history of Human Rights Day, Women’s Rights and Sexual Orientation Rights”. After both presentations, the floor will be opened up for questions from the audience.
The organizations SAFE SXM & SAFE Lefdl (entities which both work towards the empowerment of Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, plus persons) will also make use of the event to launch the new French side chapter and introduce the members of that team.
Laurent Drouin Le May, who is the secretary of the Dutch side chapter and the president of the French side chapter explained the expansion of the organization saying, “When SAFE SXM started in 2013 the intention was for it to cover both sides of the island and every effort has been made to ensure that this is the case. However, over the years we saw the need to make more of a headway on the French side and this led to the idea that a French side chapter was necessary. I am proud to head this association and to continue to create an atmosphere in which the two organizations can work together as one for the LGBTQI+ community of our island.”
The public of St. Maarten and St. Martin is invited out to this event, which will end with snacks and drinks after the presentations and q&a.
“Every year we think it is important to connect with the LGBTQI+ community and the members of the public on this day. It is both the anniversary of the legal birth of our organization and a day that reminds us that as LGBTQI+ persons we must continue the work. It is important to remember that once not so long ago the idea of rights for LGBTQI+ persons or publically saying you were an ally to LGBTQI+ persons were no nos; this year we want to look at how far we have come, while still discussing how much further we have to go in the future,” Nadjesca Gumbs, SAFE SXM treasurer said.
“This is our fourth lecture starting with Denise Vijber from Curacao in 2014, discussing human rights in general and how it is linked to the recognition of rights for LGBTQI people, then we had Kenita Placide and Maria Fontenelle, of United and Strong St. Lucia, in 2015 discussing regional community building and the importance of local mobilizing and efforts and Desiree Croes, Member of Parliament from Aruba in 2016 discussing the Civil Union Bill and its approval in the parliament of that island. Shifts in the board in 2017 and the impact of Hurricane Irma meant that we were not able to host a lecture in 2017, but we are back in 2018 and looking forward to the conversations that will come out of our two presentors Clara Reyes and Cassandra Richardson. We thank USM for the opportunity to partner with them once again and look forward to seeing everyone there,” Lysanne Charles, President of SAFE SXM said.

Preventing Tree Fires this 2018 Holiday Season.

PHILIPSBURG (DCOMM):--- A number of homes on the inside and outside have been decorated or are in the process of being decorated with Christmas lights, stockings, banners, wreaths and the most popular of them all is the lighted-Christmas tree.

As part of Ministry of Public Health’s Collective Prevention Services (CPS) ‘Safe Holiday Season Observances’, in collaboration with the Department of Communication, residents are advised to keep the season safe by following a few helpful tips.

Check Christmas tree lighting to make sure it is operating safely in order in order to avoid any hazards this holiday season.

These are some life-saving steps you can take to ensure a safe and happy holiday:

* Preventing holiday tree fire hazards
Special fire safety precautions need to be taken when keeping a live tree in the house. A burning tree can rapidly fill a room with fire and deadly gases.

* Selecting a Tree for the Holiday
Needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needle should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.

* Caring for Your Tree
Do not place your tree close to a heat source. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. Be careful not to drop or flick cigarette ashes near a tree. Do not put your live tree up too early or leave it up for longer than two weeks. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.

* Disposing of Your Tree
When the tree becomes dry, discard it promptly. The best way to dispose of your tree is by having it hauled away by the waste disposal service.

Holiday Lights
* Maintain Your Holiday Lights
Inspect holiday lights each year for frayed wires, bare spots, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets, and excessive kinking or wear before putting them up.

* Do Not Overload Electrical Outlets
Do not link more than three light strands, unless the directions indicate it is safe. Connect strings of lights to an extension cord before plugging the cord into the outlet. Make sure to periodically check the wires - they should not be warm to the touch.

* Do Not Leave Holiday Lights on Unattended
Holiday Decorations; Use Only Nonflammable Decorations; All decorations should be nonflammable or flame-retardant.

* Never Put Wrapping Paper near an open flame
It can throw off dangerous sparks and produce a chemical buildup in the home that could cause an explosion.

* Artificial Holiday Trees
If you are using a metallic or artificial tree, make sure it is flame retardant.

Candle Care
* Avoid Using Lit Candles
If you do use them, make sure they are in stable holders and place them where they cannot be easily knocked down. Never leave the house with candles burning.

* Never Put Lit Candles on a Tree
Do not go near a holiday tree with an open flame - candles, lighters or matches.

By following precautionary tips, families can greatly reduce their chances of becoming a holiday fire casualty. Happy holidays.

Plenary Public meeting of Parliament about Question hour related to tourism.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The House of Parliament will sit in a Plenary Public session on Thursday, December 6, 2018.

The Public session is scheduled for 14.00 - 15.00 hrs. in the General Assembly Chamber of the House at Wilhelminastraat #1 in Philipsburg. The Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport, and Telecommunication will be present.

The agenda point is:
Question hour: Questions from MP E.J. Doran directed to the Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication related to tourism (IS/356/2018-2019 dated November 16, 2018)

Members of the public are invited to the House of Parliament to attend parliamentary deliberations.

The House of Parliament is located across from the Court House in Philipsburg.

The parliamentary session will be carried live on St. Maarten Cable TV Channel 115, via SXM GOV radio FM 107.9, via Pearl Radio FM 98.1, the audio via the Internet, and Parliament’s Facebook page: Parliament of Sint Maarten.


cibc05122018Nassau, Bahamas:---Regional bank, CIBC FirstCaribbean has provided over USD$1.8 billion in funding for infrastructure projects over the past three years.
Of that amount USD$500 million have gone to support energy utility companies in the Bahamas, Aruba, Curacao, and Jamaica said the bank’s Chief Executive Officer Colette Delaney as she delivered remarks at the opening of CARIF 2018 – 3rd Caribbean Infrastructure Forum at the Baha Mar Resort, Nassau.
“We believe that as a leading regional bank, we have an important role to play in this sector. Each of the projects we funded was created in response to some specific opportunity or need that existed somewhere in our region,” Ms. Delaney said.
The decision to co-sponsor the conference along with KPMG underlines CIBC FirstCaribbean’s ongoing commitment to the region. Ms. Delaney said the two-day Agenda zeroed in on some of the pivotal challenges and opportunities confronting the region in terms of infrastructure planning and development.
“These include climate change with its consequent rise in sea level and all that this portends for a region whose key earner is white sandy beaches; stronger storms in areas where building codes are weak or non-existent; rising landfills and shrinking land space as islands struggle to cope with solid waste disposal. These are some of the real challenges facing this region, which the right partnerships can turn into opportunities.
“Last year’s devastating hurricanes taught us some critically important lessons – chief among them was the very vulnerable nature of key infrastructure in the Caribbean. We all saw how storms can paralyse entire island-nations many of which have one or two major highways, a single air and seaport, a single power plant and key government and private sector buildings clustered in one location.
The CEO said Hurricanes Irma and Maria had a direct impact on CIBC FirstCaribbean operations in five territories – Anguilla, Antigua, British Virgin Islands, Dominica and St. Maarten.
Ms. Delaney said that if the region is to continue to grow and maximise its fullest potential then “regional bankers and builders, politicians and policy-makers must ensure that future projects – roads, bridges, ports, office buildings and hotels - are not only constructed to withstand the super storms of the future but are also situated in locations that give due consideration to storm surges, overflowing rivers and landslides”.
“In addition, we must also ensure that insurance coverage to mitigate these risks is adequately implemented, regulated and maintained.”
She added that even though this region is blessed with an almost infinite supply of sun, wind, water and thermal energy, with some exceptions, they remain largely untapped resources throughout the region. Creative private public partnerships for the development and diversification of the energy sector, is need to bring about a more balanced use of green energy along with that derived from traditional fossil fuels.
“It is clear,” she said, “that both public and private investment in physical capital is crucial to driving Caribbean economic development and consequently the creation of wealth for its citizens.
“As an example, a quick look at a sample of 128 developed and developing countries suggests that the quality of a country’s seaport infrastructure and shipping logistics, coupled with widespread access to both telecommunications and electricity are all highly correlated with a country’s GDP per capita and thus, its overall level of development.
“Conversely, a lack of investment in critical infrastructure and essential services in a well planned and executed manner can cripple a country’s economic growth and stifle business development opportunities and foreign direct investment.”
Dr. The Most Honourable Hubert A. Minnis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas opened the conference at Baha Mar noting the timely nature and importance of the infrastructure and financing discussions for the entire region over the next two-days. He thanked CIBC FirstCaribbean and other sponsors for hosting the important event.

U.S. Consulate General Closed for National Day of Mourning December 5.

WILLEMSTAD:---The U.S. Consulate General Curacao will be closed on December 5, 2018, due to the National Day of Mourning to pay homage to the memory of President George H.W. Bush. In his honor, a condolence book will be available for those wishing to show their respect. Signing opportunities at the U.S. Consulate General Curacao, J.B. Gorsiraweg 1 in Willemstad, will be on Thursday, December 6, 20,18 from 14:00 - 16:00 and Friday, December 7, 2018, from 10:00 - 12:00.

President George H.W. Bush’s life was defined by service. He volunteered for combat in the Pacific during World War Two. Through his heroic efforts as an aviator in the United States Navy, the youngest in United States history at the time, President Bush flew 58 combat missions. Propelled by his sense of duty to his Nation, George H.W. Bush re entered public service after the war, first as a Member of Congress, and then as Ambassador to the United Nations, Chief of the United States Liaison Office in China, Director of Central Intelligence, Vice President, and President of the United States. President Bush helped to bring the Cold War to a victorious end and to transition the country into a period of sustained peace and prosperity.

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