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Minister says comments taken out of context; says it is malicious

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Providenciales, After making startling comments in the House of Assembly:
“If you wanna be a part of us, we cannot encourage, we can’t support them with all these days if we’re gonna be Singapore. If you’re 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 Bahamas –stay there.” – From HOA Audio May 12, 2015.
And saying the comments were ‘truth’ and that he did not mind who they offended.

“Personally as I say I’m a politician, but at my age, I don’t give a flying pheasant (laughter) about what people think, I am here to do a job, and I gon do that.” – From HOA Audio May 12, 2015.

And re-stating the position with TV media on National Heroes Day; the Finance Minister is not apologizing or retracting his controversial comments made in the House of Assembly on May 12th but is saying his reputation proves they are not a true reflection of him or his PNP party.

“My statements were made during a passionate debate in which I expressed my personal view. It is unfortunate that this stand taken for Turks and Caicos Islanders, in the Turks and Caicos Islands, was taken out of context. I have been painted in a light that is 100 degrees removed from all that I am and all that I have stood for and defended over the entirety of my professional life, my political life and my adult life generally. I can only call these tactics malicious and rife with intent to cause discord among the people living within our shores. ”

Magnetic Media published the Minister’s explanation in full last evening moments after we received the statement; but some have replied to us that the gesture is laughable; especially as it made regional and internet headlines evoking hurtful, and some may say deserving comments aimed not only at the Minister who made the comments, but at the Turks and Caicos Islands in general. While the Minister alone seems to bear the brunt of the reaction to his statements denouncing foreign culture celebrations on TCI soil; audio from the House of Assembly clearly reveals that other honorable members share Minister Misick’s view on the various flag days held in the country.

“If you want to be somewhere else, then American Airlines flies how many times a day? (audible chatter & laughter, comment: ‘InterCaribbean!’)…” – Audio From HOA May 12, 2015

Called out were Haitians, Jamaicans and Bahamians… and in that explanation issued last night, the Minister said this: “I refute any notion that I am a Xenophobe and, notwithstanding my utterances, wish to be judged by my record rather than by an impromptu bombast. I say without fear of contradiction that the Progressive National Party in and out of Government is among the most inclusive and tolerant and liberal in the region. ”

This comes as Benneth Williams’ TC Weekly News political cartoon illustrates the Minister, in the House of Assembly, making his now infamous remarks purportedly in defense of TCI Culture as his PNP side votes – in large part – to do away with the Cultural Commission as a statutory body. Again, you can read the Minister’s comments in full at MagneticMediaTV.com.

Magnetic Media is a Telly Award winning multi-media company specializing in creating compelling and socially uplifting TV and Radio broadcast programming as a means for advertising and public relations exposure for its clients.

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Omicron results in 267,000 case record for USA, eclipsing even Delta

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, December 31, 2021 – The US has broken its record for most daily coronavirus cases with a massive 267,000 cases recorded on Tuesday. The information was courtesy of data prepared by the New York Times about infection rates.

The Omicron variant now accounts for more than half of the cases in the country.

Information the Times released said, “The country is averaging more than 260,000 new cases a day, surpassing the peak levels from last winter. Infection rates are especially high in parts of the Northeast and Midwest. Though breakthrough infections are common with Omicron, scientists say vaccinated people, especially those who have received booster shots, have protection against severe cases and death.”

Despite the steep increase there is a silver lining. The same data that shows the increase also shows that hospitalizations and deaths remain at a steady rate and that rate is much lower than variants like Delta.

Amidst the drastic increase the Centers for Disease Control has slashed its recommendations for quarantine days in half, after which a COVID patient may leave quarantine without testing. There has been much controversy surrounding the issue with accusations of capitalism being slung toward the entity.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky defended the decision saying, “What we do know is about 85 percent to 90 percent of viral transmission happens in those first five days, which is why we really want people to stay home during that period of time.”

She said masks should be worn for five days after quarantine to prevent the final 10 per cent to 15 per cent of possible transmission.

Walensky did not explain the efficiency of a 10 quarantine vs the new five day quarantine or say if this was expected to lead to an uptick in cases.

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Deadly Salad Mix Recall in US; TCI seems unaffected

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#December 24, 2021 – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been investigating an outbreak related to packaged salads that have killed about three people, and 22 have been hospitalised due to fears over Listeria infection.

As a result, Fresh Express has recalled salad products from approximately 19 states on Monday.

Recalls were made in Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Maine, Indiana, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Minnesota, Michigan, Iowa, and Massachusetts.

The brands recalled are Fresh Express, Bowl & Basket, Giant Eagle, Little Salad Bar, Marketside, O Organics, Signature Farms, Simply Nature, Weis Fresh from the Field, and Wellsley Farms Organic.

The CDC advised that anyone who has purchased the recalled items should discard them and properly sanitise their refrigerators to avoid contracting the associated bacteria called listeria.

Listeria may cause headaches, stiff neck, confusion, and fever.

Local grocer, Sunny Foods confirmed that the recall does not impact his store and it may be the same for others in country.

The TCI Government had not replied up to news time to a query about whether the recall affects this market.

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TC Reef Fund gives a Financial & Projects Report

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, December 7, 2021 – The Turks and Caicos Reef Fund, the local environmental non-profit, announced a successful fiscal year.  Approximately $114,058 dollars was raised in 2021. The expenses of the organization, however, outweighed the revenues. For the fiscal year, it was about $128,984 dollars.

The largest source of revenue came from donations designated for specific projects. Nearly half of the fiscal year’s revenue came from individual donations and memberships.  Don Stark, Chairman of the Turks and Caicos Reef Fund, said the ongoing success of fund-raising contributed to hiring their first full-time Executive Director in 2021, Mrs. Alizée Zimmermann.

“I have been very happy to become a major part of the TCRF as the Executive Director,” said Alizée Zimmermann. “TCRF has accomplished so much since 2010 and I hope that we will continue to be a leader in environmental advocacy not only in the TCI, but also regionally. We are already considered a regional leader in the battle with SCTLD. I am also happy to say that in 2021 we have expanded our volunteer network to over 100 residents who donate their time to assist TCRF with our various projects.  We could not accomplish the things we do without the support we receive from these generous volunteers.”

Since 2010, when the organization was founded, $1.4 million dollars have been raised without the government’s contribution.  About $924,000, which is, 67 per cent of the money, has been used to support environmental projects in the TCI.

Its largest project, which started in 2012, is installing and maintaining dive and snorkel boat moorings. Stark said the project’s cost is now at 287 thousand dollars.

“That’s $287,000 that TCRF has essentially donated to the TCIG, since once we install a mooring in a marine park, it becomes Government property,” said Stark.

He added that over $43, 000 had been invested in education and outreach programs.

Alizée Zimmermann, Executive Director of the Turks and Caicos Reef Fund, said they expanded their volunteer network to over 100 residents.

The Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease project, which dominated the expenses, came to almost $37,000. Also, moorings which were over $24,000 accounted for a large part of the project expense.

The third-largest project expense was the Smith’s Reef Rehabilitation and Improvements project. It was about $10,585 dollars for the year.

 

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