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NO BAIL OUT, BRITISH ATLANTIC FINANCIAL INTO LIQUIDATION

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Providenciales, 12 Jan 2015 – There was no government or private sector bail-out plan supplied as an alternative to ending British Atlantic Financial Services Ltd operating in the Turks and Caicos Islands and on Friday the Chief Justice ruled that the company be liquidated. Around 2,600 policy holders will now have to wait and see what returns they get on the dollar for their near three decades of saving with BAFSL in some cases. The financial institution, reportedly millions of dollars in the hole, had been in the hand of provisional liquidators PriceWaterHouseCoopers since last month so this decision was not a huge surprise to some of the policy holders to whom we spoke.

It is still unclear why government never moved to rescue the institution when Premier Rufus Ewing, in a called press conference spoke passionately about the handling of the case by the Financial Services Commission managing director, Kevin Higgins even calling for the decisions made surrounding the matter to be investigated and the Premier made an appeal to the Supreme Court to be considerate of the case and the Premier pledged that his government would do its best to bail out. A first step in that plan was revealed by Hon Dr. Rufus Ewing as meeting with the Opposition. That first step never happened. Another hearing in the case of BAFSL, which also got slammed in social media for what some residents called outrageous salaries and lack of information flowing to stakeholders is set for February 28, 2015.

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Caribbean News

Understanding Sargassum with help from the TCI’s Department of Environment & Coastal Resources  

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – Sargassum, also known as seaweed, is a natural brown macroalga that lives in temperate and tropical oceans of the world. The floating micro eco-system is important to many species, including baby turtles, little crabs, and tiny fish. All these animals use the floating rafts of the sargassum for protection, shelter, and food.

Over the years, sargassum has been increasing its quantity in the Caribbean due to climate change. As water temperatures increase, sargassum blooms, and as this continues, it occurs in large amounts. This can be dangerous for some marine life because when seaweed washes up on the shore, some species become trapped in the sargassum mat.

Environmental Outreach Coordinator at the Department of Environmental and Coastal Resources for TCI, Amy Avenant, says the Turks and Caicos Islands has not seen the worst of the overgrowth.

“In the Turks and Caicos Islands, we have not seen the full severity of sargassum blooms. Our neighbours in Bonaire, for example, experience up to six feet of sargassum, and they have found stranded dolphins, sea turtles, and sometimes even birds,” said Amy Avenant.

“When the sargassum washes up on shore, it starts to decompose, and when it decomposes, it emits methane, and that is the stinky sulfuric eggy smell that you can smell when you walk past it on the beach. It is a bad thing for climate change because of the methane, but it is not harmful to your health.”

Turks and Caicos saw this in extreme amounts in October; so severe, resorts were forced to bag and bury the stinky seaweed which for over a week covered the usually sandy white stretch of Grace Bay beach.

Avenant noted that in the TCI, we have a balance between managing the influx of sargassum and impacting the areas where it lands because its influx is correlated to the cycles of the moon.

She also said sargassum can be used as a fertilizer in farming. If you collect it, the advice is to spread it out and ensure you wash the excess salt off before adding to your gardens or farms.

There are also hidden dangers and habitat threats to the piles of sargassum on shorelines.

Avenant informed, when you see sargassum on the beach, ensure you watch out for wildlife that might be stuck and species which might have made a home of the ocean’s deposit which has washed up, this is heightened on rocky shores.

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Health

New Healthy Sail rules to ensure transparency and safety kick in, but not all Cruise Lines are on board

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

January 20, 2022 – The US Centers for Disease Control Cruise Sailing Order expired on Saturday January 15th and it means cruise lines will now be able to choose whether or not they want to participate. This “Healthy Sail” program is a set of guidelines for cruising which the CDC says will provide transparency about COVID management on ships.

Cruise lines which chose to participate in the “healthy sail” voluntary program will be subject to CDC guidelines. Cruise lines which opt out of the program will still have to adhere to masking mandates and report all COVID cases.

However, the ships opting out of the CDC Healthy Sail program, will not be required to make public their testing regimes for crew and passengers.

“There will be a lot of unknowns about what risk mitigation measures are being used on board because they will really be able to set their own protocols for testing of passengers and crew,” said Aimee Treffiletti, CDC representative to USA Today.

Naturally, this raises several questions about whether these ships will be required to make onboard protocols and findings public to ports of call.

Up to Monday, Norwegian, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas Cruise Lines had opted into the program. Noticeably absent from the roll call: Carnival Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean.

 

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Health

Shocking changes in UK COVID strategy as demands intensify for PM Johnson’s resignation

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#UnitedKingdom, January 20, 2022 – In a shocking twist Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that come Thursday January 20, the United Kingdom will no longer mandate the National Health Services pass for use in public spaces and offices.

Residents will no longer be mandated to work from home which could see hundreds of thousands of workers returning to shared office spaces. Face masks will no longer be government mandated for residents or in classrooms, the announcement was met with screams of joy from gathered politicians in the House of Commons.

Johnson cited one of the reasons behind the decision as the extraordinary booster campaign. The UK has a booster rate of just over 63 percent.

Meanwhile omicron still manages to evade vaccines and boosters and Pfizer is scrambling to create a vaccine to temper the variant, which reportedly presents as milder in vaccinated individuals.

The news comes as trouble is brewing in the United Kingdom for Prime Minister Boris Johnson even after his shock announcement ending several COVID-19 protocols early this week. Calls for the Prime Minister to leave office have grown louder and louder with even senior conservatives turning their backs on Johnson.

It was said the softening of restrictions were to distract from the Prime Minister ‘bring your own booze’ staff party held at #10 Downing Street during the lockdown of 2020.

One Senator publicly switched sides and a former Minister told Johnson “in the name of God go.”

Johnson is accused of flagrantly touting the rules he himself out into place while fellow Britons were suffering during lockdown.

The BBC reports that so far six Conservative MPs have publicly declared no confidence in the PM, but more are thought to have submitted letters to that effect.

If Johnson does not step down or regain his party’s faith, a leadership election in the Conservative party could be looming on the horizon.

 

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