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RBDF Officer Awarded Master of Arts Degree by U.S. Naval Postgraduate School

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In paying a courtesy call on the Commander Defence

Force (Acting), Captain Tellis Bethel, at the Defence Force Headquarters, the Director of

Strategy, Policy and Plans at the United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and the

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), Rear Admiral Richard Snyder

presented Acting Lieutenant Commander (Ag/Lt/Cdr) Darren Henfield with the Master of Arts

degree in Security Studies that was awarded him by the United States Naval Postgraduate School

(NPS) upon successful completion of his studies at the school in December, 2015.

The school’s Master of Arts in Security Studies program was spread over a five quarter period,

and included the production of an in-depth research paper coupled with the requirement to pass a

number of diverse courses. The first Bahamian to obtain an academic degree from the institution,

Ag/Lt/Cdr Henfield’s thesis entitled, Making the National Security Council ‘Better in The

Bahamas’ to Resolve Illegal Migration, examines the perennial national security issues of The

Bahamas and offers recommendations toward addressing the current concerns over unabated

illegal immigration from Haiti.

The course was made available under the U.S. International Military Education and Training

(IMET) Program. This program has made numerous training courses and programs available to

Officers and Marines of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force over the years, and is funded by the

American State Department through the United States Embassy in Nassau.

While attending NPS, A/Lt/Cdr Henfield was also named the 2015 recipient of the Kiwanis

Outstanding International Student Award. A/Lt/Cdr Henfield received the coveted honour, which

is presented to an international student chosen from among peers for academic standing,

achievement, and involvement in community affairs.

A 1979 graduate of Abaco Central High School, Ag/Lt/Cdr Henfield is an almost 35-year

veteran of the Force—serving 17 years as enlisted marine and nearly 18 years as a commissioned

officer. He is also a duly qualified Counsel and Attorney-at- Law. Prior to going abroad, he

served nearly three years as an assistant counsel in the Office of the Attorney-General. Of note is

his stint as the assistant to the technical officer of the recent Constitution Commission.

Furthermore, Ag/Lt/Cdr Henfield has served in every major area of the Force including

operations, administration, headquarters, and training over the years. He currently serves as the

Force Inspectorate Officer at Defence Force Headquarters. His past assignments and

appointments include serving as a commissioned officer in several billets aboard Her Majesty's

Bahamian Ship Nassau, performing the duties of Regulating Petty Officer in the Administration

Department, and serving as a Training Instructor in the Training Department. Ag/Lt/Cdr

Henfield has also served as the Administration Staff Officer (S1) for the CARICOM (Caribbean

Community) battalion during the 2002 Exercise Tradewinds, and marks his participation in the

1994 United Nations Mission to Haiti among the high points of his service life.

The senior career officer and his wife of nearly thirty-one years, Deidre, the proud parents of

three sons and one granddaughter.

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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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