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TCI Govt wants island hunkered down by Thursday

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 Turks and Caicos, September 5th, 2017 – Providenciales – Schools and offices will be closed on Thursday.  An evacuation order for Salt Cay will be given today.  Merchants are warned against price gouging.  Storm shelters are listed and evacuation routes identified.  An amnesty period is on for illegal migrants and the DDME is identified as the real source for storm information related specifically to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Magnetic Media was among the media houses at the Office of the Premier on Monday afternoon where country leaders spelled out what the nation is facing as we prepare for Hurricane Irma.
 
Governor John Freeman stated, “I anticipate issuing an evacuation order for Salt Cay tomorrow morning and there will be advice provided in terms of low-lying areas also fairly rapidly to make sure that people are alert as possible.”
In addition, Dr. Virginia Clerveaux, Director of DDME explained, “From a category 3 storm, you’re looking at a very strong storm and based on the shifting of the storm moving slightly south, we’re now expecting to either get the storm passed directly over us or to have the righter bands affecting the Turks and Caicos Islands and what the experts in the field are saying is that the righter side of the storm, the right bands, are actually stronger. “
Deputy Governor, Anya Williams also added, “as it currently stands, the prediction from the Met office is that by Thursday morning we we should start to see some changes in the weather and then we should have hurricane impact winds and so on on Thursday evening. If that is the case we will be looking at winding down services possibly as early as Wednesday evening so that persons have enough time to be in their own communities and to prepare for the storm. “
The Minister in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Delroy Williams had strong advice for the public stating, “We would like to urge all residents and businesses not to take the storm lightly. Prepare yourself. The director have given you a list of all the shelters in the area. What you should do is to take keen notice of which shelter is nearest to you. Prepare yourselves, have a family evacuation plan.”
Premier Robinson then added, “And while you’re looking out for your employees please look out for those persons who will be purchasing merchandise from you. It’s important that we continue to say that we don’t have price control in Turks and Caicos but we can have price gouging and we really want to encourage you to not engage in that sort of activity over the next few days.”
Another debrief with the media is set for Wednesday as the Governor Dr John Freeman, Deputy Governor Anya Williams, Premier Sharlene Robinson, Minister of Home Affairs Delroy Williams and DDME Director Dr. Virginia Clerveaux all continue with stakeholder meetings for the next three days.  Again schools and government offices will be closedThursday to brace for Hurricane Irma.
By Deandrea Hamilton

Caribbean News

Barbados bestows Humanitarian Award on PAHO director Dr. Carissa Etienne 

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#Barbados, November 25, 2022 – The newest recipient of Barbados’ Humanitarian Award is outgoing Pan American Health Organization Director, Dr Carissa Etienne.  The government of Barbados grants this award to frontline workers who were instrumental during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Upon receiving the award, Dr. Etienne expressed her gratitude for the recognition, noting, however, that she was more grateful for the opportunity to have served on the island. She also praised Prime Minister, Mia Mottley for her diligence in leading the country and regional involvement during the pandemic.

Humanitarian medals were also given to Frontline workers who risked their own safety to ensure the needs of the public were met. Those who held supporting roles on the frontline received humanitarian lapel pins, and those who made generous donations were given humanitarian plaques.

Dr. Etienne highlighted one major lesson from the pandemic, “we are only safe when the weakest among us is also safe”.

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Bahamas News

Bahamas and Turks & Caicos Immigration Ministers make appearance on TCI Radio Talk Show

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – “We have a humanitarian concern of course but we can only absorb so much” was how Fred Mitchell, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Public Service in The Bahamas addressed the issue of the UN constantly nudging Caribbean countries about the deportation of migrants and recommending that it not be done.

He was speaking Thursday November 24 with Cheryl and Zhavargo on First Edition which airs on RTC FM.

While acknowledging that the UN offices likely ‘have to do what they do’ Minister Mitchell  explained that the current irregular migrants trying to get into the Bahamas did not fit the bill of ‘refugees’ as defined by the UN.

“We have a treaty obligation that says that if people have a fear of persecution in their home country that we have an obligation to take them in as asylum seekers. The people who come through on these boats from the south of us are not asylum seekers. They are afraid of poverty and that’s a difficult issue but in a legal sense we’re not obligated to embrace people on that basis.”

He cited a study that had found, on any given day there were around 7,000 illegal migrants in The Bahamas trying to get to the US maintaining that his chain of islands had to take a stand on the issue.  The Foreign Affairs minister acknowledged that  TCI was in an identical situation, citing also the the cultural effects of irregular migration.

“There is a cleavage which has developed in our own society over this; people are very concerned that we could lose our identity if we do not get on top of it.”

Earlier this year Arlington “new sheriff in town” Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services in the Turks and Caicos had described statements calling on surrounding countries to do more to assist persons fleeing Haiti as “reckless and misguided.”

“Haiti has a population of 11.6 million people. How could any small developing state like the Turks and Caicos Islands assist that number of people or even the smallest fraction of them? We have a population of some 47,000 persons, and our health care, education and other social systems remain fragile and could never withstand an influx of refugees. This would be a risk to our very own livelihood,” he had said.

He was interviewed in the same show on Thursday prior to Mitchell and expressed a similar determination to crack down on illegal migration.

“I want to stress this. If we catch anyone harbouring illegals, it could be my mommy, she’s going up. We cannot tolerate this. We’re catching the sloops so my Haitian brothers and sisters should stress to them don’t waste your money we’re sending you back.”

Turks and Caicos, this year passed a law, doubling fines and prison times for individuals harbouring illegal migrants.

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Bahamas News

Former Bahamian Cabinet minister defends record amid ongoing police investigation

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#TheBahamas, November 25, 2022 – Former Youth, Sports and Culture Minister, Lanisha Rolle is reportedly currently under investigation due to several allegations that came up during her tenure; she however knows nothing of this alleged criminal investigation.

After the minister resigned – unceremoniously –  in February 2021 with little explanation, the ministry was locked down by the Prime Minister for an audit of the National Sports Authority, which fell under her ministry.

Auditor General Terrance Bastin revealed that unauthorised contracts had been issued, some of which were later forwarded to the NSA for payment. Three cheques to contractors were also found, which were paid to individuals and then collected by a senior ministry official.

Despite the allegations, Rolle said she upheld cabinet standards and good governance during her tenure. She added that a minister is not always aware of “everything in a ministry at any given time.”

Rolle said she has not yet been approached by the RBPF regarding the audit findings.  Having served as a member of the Police Force for 11 years herself, Rolle told a crush of media on Wednesday (November 23) that she continues to trust that they will follow the legal process and in due time, the truth of her innocence will be revealed.

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