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AN ADDRESS TO THE NATION ON NATIONAL HERITAGE DAY

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Shanice Williams - Miss Universe Turks and Caicos 2014

Providenciales, 08 Oct 2014 – Culture is the soul of a nation; the finest expression of humanity and a record of a people’s evolution and advancement. From Salt Ponds, to the Conch Farm; from “going-in-the-field” to billion dollars luxury resorts; from the peaceful donkeys in Grand Turk to the Private Jets in Providenciales; from potato bread to Lobster in reduction sauce; Pepper Joy to Bambara Rum, as a people our cultural story demonstrates a culture in evolution and advancement and that my fellow countrymen is our Heritage.

This is what has and will distinguish us from every other nation in the world. It is our unique marker, our signature across history and it is what follows us into the world even as it brings the world to us. And so, I call on you, as your Queen, with pride and affection for all that we are throughout our National Heritage Month, on October 13th; National Heritage Day and beyond, to embrace it.

Let me tell you why our heritage means so much to me, and why in this wide, vast world, as we let our imaginations soar across our borders; we must keep our minds rooted firmly in our own historical truth:

There are many ways to enter what is beautiful about us, what is humane and what gives us grace, but for me it is the music. We seem to breathe and live by a certain rhythm and melody. I feel it when I do not hear it. But as soon as I hear that Rake n’ Scrape, I feel like a bundle of smiles, and I see the humour, the practicality, the simplicity and the sense of dignity that is in our national character. You see, Rake n’ Scrape to me means a people who have little, but are content to make beauty even with the little they possess. There is something magical, warm and honourable about that.

That is our heritage.

Who can fail to see and feel something special about our people? We are all Sister and Brother. At every turn we are Cousin… “cuz” so and so. Speaking to us about family is like speaking about the elements of chemistry: we say: “She is my grandmother’s aunt’s husband’s second daughter, but she is my third cousin”. We are “Titter” this and “Babba” that. It is charming and funny, but underneath it reflects and confirms a tradition of respect amongst us, amongst generations of brothers and sisters that is dying in other places around the world. And yet, when the world comes to our shores, we welcome then into this culture of family.

This too is our heritage.

I love the land, our land – Beautiful by Nature, (Bountiful by Skill), as God intended and the angels obliged. And while I love the fresh mornings, or the Sweet Salinas at Salt Cay, the old world charm and gentility of Grand Turk, and as I am seduced by ambition by Provo’s luxurious race into the future, and made tender by North Caicos’ tending of the soil or Middle Caicos’ calm, where time seems still, and of course, the historical “swag’ of the “Big South”, it is the Flamingoes for me: They seem ancient and delicate. I love the fact that their colour comes from the interaction between what they eat and what the sea provides… because the sea is how we survived.

This is also our blessed heritage.

In some countries they have monuments and we have our little share. But ours is a remembered culture and a heritage to be acknowledged, remembered and celebrated. I am your honoured Queen and unlike other Queens, I am empowered by you only to issue decrees of love. Let us love what we are through what we have been as the path to what we must become. Let us live with the grace of our national story… and let us gain from and give to our heritage all that gives love, and so gives life to life.

Shanice Williams
Miss Universe Turks and Caicos 2014

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Bahamas News

Brave presentation in defence of Bahamas’ financial services reputation by PM Davis

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, October 1, 2022 – Prime Minister of the Bahamas Phillip ‘Brave’ Davis is again calling for equality in the financial services sector and for the United Nations to leverage its universal jurisdiction for greater oversight of global anti-money laundering de-risking and tax cooperation matters.

In addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, September 24, Prime Minister Davis said the Bahamas is one of the best-regulated countries in the world, yet it has been under attack by international bodies and placed on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) blacklist while transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

He questioned why this was the case and highlighted some disparities in the financial sector.

“Why is it that European states that operate frameworks akin to that of high-risk or blacklisted countries, are not even eligible for inclusion on these lists? Why are all the countries targeted – all of them – small and vulnerable, and former colonies of European states? We find it astounding that the $2-$3 trillion dollars which is estimated to be laundered each year through the developed countries, are never flagged as causes for concern,” articulated Phillip Davis, addressing the 77th session in New York.

Prime Minister Davis further noted that there are elements of racism in the decision-making when it comes to regulating black-governed countries in the financial services sector. He also declared that black-governed countries matter as well.

And yet my country, which is widely recognized as one of the best-regulated countries in the world, and other countries like The Bahamas, are singled-out for such reputational attacks? The robust regulatory regimes of our Central Bank, Securities Commission, and Insurance Commission, are chastised on minor details of technical process, while much bigger transgressions in the developed world are ignored.

The evidence is mounting, that the considerations behind these decisions have less to do with compliance, and more to do with darker issues of pre-judged, discriminatory perceptions. Black-governed countries also matter.”

 Davis also highlighted the need for reforms that apply to all in the global financial system.

“Mr. President: We support the call for reforms in the global financial system to make it more relevant to the needs of today. But those reforms need ambition. They need to go beyond the incremental. And they need to apply to all. For example, the community of international financial institutions are in a position to forgive the debt incurred by the economic shutdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic. They should do so.”

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Will US President Biden deliver on Climate Change funding?

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, October 1, 2022 – US President Joe Biden has reiterated his promise that low income countries, which are also low carbon emitters will receive increased climate aid from the US to the tune of $11 billion per year.

The President was speaking at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly recently where he maintained his administration was working with Congress to get the funds which would ‘help lower-income countries implement their climate goals and ensure a just energy transition.’

The plan was announced in September 2021 and is a reflection of the USA’s part in the 2010 global pledge made by developed countries to give $100 billion annually in climate financing to developing nations each year.  Biden has indicated that the plan will be in effect by 2024.

While he stressed at the UN that the need is ‘enormous’ the President is having trouble convincing lawmakers at home.  So far the funding which must be approved by Congress has not materialized. The United States Congress is known for having a particularly tight hold on the national purse in regards to climate change funding.

In fact congress dedicated only a little over $1 billion to climate change this year according to Bloomberg.  The US also has a history of promising funding for climate change but not delivering on those high priced promises.

Whether this $11 billion will actually get to nations like those in the Caribbean region is yet to be seen.

This year, the General Assembly heard from 190 speakers, including 76 Heads of State, 50 Heads of Government, four Vice-Presidents, five Deputy Prime Ministers, 48 Ministers and seven Heads of Delegations according to General Assembly President Csaba Kőrösi as he summed up the first in-person General Debate since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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Caribbean News

Hurricane Ian impact on Cayman Islands

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#Cayman, October 1, 2022 – The Cayman Islands experienced fierce winds and high seas from Hurricane Ian on Monday, as the storm passed offshore, causing little lasting damage.

Some areas on the island experienced flooding as low-lying condo complexes and some residential back roads were inundated with water. Almost 4,000 homes were without power on Monday; however, most had electricity restored by the evening.

There were also no reports of any injuries, deaths, or serious structural damage.  The country started its restoration process on Monday afternoon, clearing debris from the roads, surveying the damage and providing support to residents where needed.

In a statement on Monday afternoon, Premier of the Cayman Islands Wayne Panton said he was pleased with how residents handled the situation.

“While we have been very fortunate to have been spared the worst of a potentially very serious storm, I’m extremely pleased to have seen the efforts made by the Caymanian public to prepare for ‘the worst, while praying for the best. In this situation, this is simply the safest, most strategic thing to do,” the Premier said

Despite the all-clear being issued on Monday evening, the Ministry of Education announced that government schools will remain closed to students until Wednesday, 28 September.

Meanwhile, in Cuba, authorities have declared emergencies in six areas, with forecasters warning of storm surges on the coast along with flash floods and mudslides.

Tens of thousands of people were told to leave their homes and seek shelter. Cuba could see up to 12 inches of rain from Hurricane Ian.

Hurricane Ian dramatically intensified and is blamed for at least two dozen deaths in Florida; where the storm struck with near category five force winds and a near 20 foot storm surge.

Over 700 rescue operations were activated in Florida in the aftermath of the storm, which is still wreaking havoc in the U.S.

 

Cayman photo credit:  RC Cord

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