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Finance Minister controversial comments slams foreign cultural celebrations in Turks and Caicos

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PNP in HOAProvidenciales, So much opining over what Finance Minister the Hon Washington Misick had to say during a recent House of Assembly Debate; comments which came during contributions on a motion moved by Hon Edwin Astwood for Grand Turk South and Salt Cay to essentially amp up the cleanliness and environmental awareness of islanders. Minister Misick said he is a politician but he is also a man prepared to speak truth; and it appears his truth is shared with some others when gauging the sounds of support in the House on May 12; while that truth in other quarters rubbed some residents the wrong way. Some have called the remarks uncharacteristic of the PNP, divisive and insulting while others say it is sensible and the harsh truth. Nonetheless, Minister Misick in the lead up to the stinging statement explained that if the country wants to model the assimilation program which was successfully established in Singapore it must recognize that one, Singapore was not a democracy and that other cultural celebrations were basically abandoned to embrace the Singaporian way.

Here is Minister Misick: “We have something coming up in a few weeks called Haitian flag day; we gat Haitian Flag Day, we gat Jamaica Day, we gat Bahamas Day … when the hell we gon have Turks and Caicos Day? If you don’t want to be a part of us we cannot encourage, we can’t support them with all of these days if we are gonna be Singapore. If you are gonna be in this country, be in this country – contribute and be a part of this country. If you want to be in Haiti and Jamaica and the Bahamas, stay there and that’s part of the problem. It is encouraged by a lot of these different groups who are in seniored positions in the private sector, right, who encourage this kind of stuff. We have to send a strong message while we as a people have to make sure that we do the right thing by our country, and by the same token we have to make sure that people who come here do the right thing by our country and we should not be supporting all of these different splinter groups with their different days; you would never see me appearing to not a one of them, I would not. This is Turks and Caicos, if you’re here, this is Rome, do as the Romans do. If you want to be here, you contribute here, if you don’t want to be here, you want to be somewhere else then, American Airlines fly how many times a day? Alright…”

These now notorious remarks have sparked a frenzy of social media opinions, spawned a front page article, news reports and a formal solicitation for more views on Hon Washington Misick’s perspective. This past Monday, it was not Turks and Caicos Day but it was National Heroes Day and residents turned out impressively for a Provo wide motorcade. Among the political dignitaries joining the patriotic festivity was Hon Charles Washington Misick.

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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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