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Tougher measures ahead to deal with squatters

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Turks and Caicos, July 3rd 2017 – Providenciales – Tougher measures are on the horizon as the Turks and Caicos Government takes aim at squatting.

Squatting or illegal construction is a long standing problem and the new PDM Administration through Minister Goldray Ewing said the Planning Department is already empowered to deal with squatters or anyone building illegally in the Turks and Caicos, but amendments in Parliament will give planning officers more immediate power to deal with unlicensed building.

It is a problem rampant throughout the islands and often, work permit holders are doing it but now, employers are put on notice by the Minister who reminded that housing for expatriate staff is a legal requirement; no foreign worker should be forced to have to build their own dwelling.  Low cost housing is also planned as an option by Government for those constructing illegally, as Minister Ewing said that the crackdown is less about making people homeless and more about regulating for quality constructions.

 

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CRIMINAL: Indonesia bans SEX before MARRIAGE; Tourists included 

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Indonesia, December 7, 2022 – Indonesia has made it illegal to have sex outside of marriage following the passing of a controversial new criminal code in Parliament.

The Criminal Code which carries a host of new regulations criminalizes sex between any two people outside of marriage on pain of a year’s imprisonment, including residents, foreign nationals living in Indonesia and even tourists.

The Muslim majority country signed the bill into law on Tuesday December 6th according to state owned media outlet Antara.  It passed unanimously.

The law also applies to adultery and even unmarried couples living together, both now carry jail time.  In addition to that, it places restrictions on speech and religion.

AP news says it carries punishable clauses on blasphemy, deviating from the five recognized religions – Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism – spreading communist messaging and even insulting the president.

Chairman of the House of Representatives, Bambang Wuryanto told Antara it had been perfected through holistic means by accommodating inputs from all members of society.

But after it passed, young people gathered in front of Parliament protesting.

Human rights activists are describing it as a dramatic rollback of individual rights.

Usman Hamid, Amnesty International’s Indonesia Executive Director said,  “What we’re witnessing is a significant blow to Indonesia’s hard-won progress in protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms–Outlawing sex outside marriage is a violation to the right to privacy protected under international law.  Such ‘morality’ provisions could even potentially be misused to criminalise victims of sexual assault or to target members of the LGBTI community.”

Indonesia is one of the most popular destination spots in the world and Bali especially has become a world renowned island swarming with tourists from across the globe all year round.

According to Bali Management Villas, in October alone, more than 300,000 tourists visited the island.

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US News Organizations could be barred from Facebook

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#USA, December 7, 2022 – Facebook parent company, Meta is threatening to block US news organizations from its sites after congress tabled a bill that would allow news organizations to have more bargaining power with the company over money made from their content.

The bill in question is the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act introduced to Congress last week. It makes provisions for a four-year safe harbor from antitrust laws (which bar some companies from owning daily newspapers and TV Stations and cross ownership).

During this time, print, broadcast, or digital news companies would be able to collectively negotiate with online content distributors including social media companies about the terms on which the news companies’ content may be distributed by online content distributors.

Meta describes the bill as ‘ill considered’ said if Congress passed it they would take immediate action.

“We will be forced to consider removing news from our platform altogether rather than submit to government-mandated negotiations that unfairly disregard any value we provide to news outlets through increased traffic and subscriptions,” The company said.

Meta says publishers and broadcasters put their content on Facebook unprompted because it brings them traffic and the company benefited little.  “No company should be forced to pay for content users don’t want to see and that’s not a meaningful source of revenue,” it said.

Pew Research says 47 per cent or nearly half of Facebook’s users regularly get news from the site.  The Act which has bi-partisan support has been tabled but not passed by congress, yet.

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JAMAICA: PM Announces New State of Public Emergency

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#Kingston, December 7, 2022 – States of Public Emergency (SOEs) have been declared in several parishes and police divisions islandwide to address an increase in criminal activities and ensure public order.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, made the announcement during a press briefing at the Office of the Prime Minister this morning (December 6).

The parishes are St. Ann, Clarendon, St. Catherine, specified areas in Kingston and St. Andrew, St. James, Westmoreland and Hanover.

Mr. Holness said that the Government, after careful consideration of the recommendations of the security chiefs, decided to advise the Governor General that it was necessary and appropriate to declare the SOEs.

“Since the end of the last SOE, we have seen, unfortunately, an increase in criminal activities in these areas and, indeed, a threat to property and in some instances public disorder,” he said.

He noted that the security measure is also aimed at protecting lives and property during the Christmas period.

“This will be the first Christmas season since the ending of the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA) [which imposed COVID-19 restrictions] and already we are seeing and projecting an increase in activities, including entertainment and commercial [events].

“We are already seeing a demand, a stretch on the resources, and we have to guarantee our citizens that they will be able to go about their business in a safe and secure manner,” he said.

SOEs were previously imposed in several of the areas on November 15 but ended on November 29 after the resolutions to facilitate the extensions failed to achieve a two-thirds majority in the Senate.

 

Contact: Chris Patterson

Release: JIS

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