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“Fix it!” TCI Premier calls for remedy to public sector staff issues which led to long lines and angry tourists

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Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – March 8, 2018 – Industrial action mingled with a contentious new shift system for immigration officers stationed at the Providenciales International Airport is what caused the embarrassing situation at the country’s main gateway when thousands of travelers were held up by dreadfully long lines.

Cell phone videos, photographs and comments from exasperated guests to the island and residents were circulated on social media and online exposing that the wait time and conditions for immigration processing at the airport was grueling. 

Hundreds of tourists huddled inside the arrivals lounge and queues stretching outside of the terminal building and onto the sweltering tarmac, where airline passengers were made to wait their turn in the unbridled heat of the sun were captured on film.

Magnetic Media heard reports that some guests were unable to stand up to the heat and literally fell out.

Everyone agrees that it is an unacceptable state of affairs.

The Premier called for the situation to be fixed and clarified that it is no longer Cabinet’s role to deal with human resources issues within the public sector.  The Civil Service falls within the portfolio of the Deputy Governor, who is Anya Williams.

Premier Sharlene Robinson said: “The Public Service is led by the Deputy Governor, that power is delegated by the Governor of the Turks and Caicos islands.  We have absolutely no authority, outside of Cabinet, to set up a shift system or to say what numbers of persons should be at the airport or not.  Ministers don’t want to be in the day to day running, we are not allowed to be but people want their ministers at policy level.”

The Premier confirmed that ‘something’ had happened and that the Border Control Minister, Deputy Premier Sean Astwood called an emergency meeting with officers and the Deputy Governor.   The meeting was also held on Thursday.

The Premier in a press conference on Thursday at her office in Providenciales, supported by three Cabinet ministers was visibly disapproving of the matter which had been a looming threat since November 2017.  At that time, on the day of the inaugural flight of Southwest Airlines, Immigration Officers staged a ‘sick out’ due to claims of outstanding pay.  Reports were that more industrial action was possible because matters were unsettled.

“This government is not pleased and what is happening at the airport is nothing short of embarrassing and unacceptable… we are now in a position where guests are uncomfortable on entering our country that is their first impression of the Turks and Caicos, we see the negative reports and that is not what we need right now,” said Premier Robinson.

The Premier added that the ‘Open for Business’ campaign which was driven by the Government and the Tourism sector in the aftermath of the September hurricanes worked well, and of least concern to the stakeholders was the now long lines at the airport created during what is a usual peak season for these islands.

“We have asked those who do have the authority to manage the public service to advise us as to what is going on, but not just to advise us but to fix it, it must be fixed,” said Premier Sharlene Robinson.

The PDM Government leader explained, “Until we begin to hold people accountable for where they are we are going to always have this sort of situation ongoing.  People who are responsible directly, must be held accountable and I await that report… because now, we are going to take the initiative to visit with these guests and talk to these guests at they leave but to also visit with them where they are to say to them this is certainly not the welcome beautiful by nature offers.”

Present at the meeting was also Minister of Tourism Ralph Higgs who addressed his ministry’s strategy in a damage control effort.

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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Caribbean News

DIGICEL+ GIVES CUSTOMERS THE GIFT OF MORE SPEED THIS CHRISTMAS

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The fastest internet just got even faster…for the same great price

 

Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – 1st, December 2021 –  Digicel+ is gifting The Turks and Caicos Islands faster home fibre speeds for Christmas, and beyond. Fulfilling the brand promise of Simply More (more power, more speed and more reliability), customers will now benefit from up to 2x faster download speeds on broadband and bundle plans.

This is all about a better experience for customers, and not about the cost. This free upgrade gives Digicel+ customers an even better home fibre internet experience, for anyone, on any device. And as part and parcel of the digital lifestyle, Digicel+ is the gateway to a Smart Life, which means that state-of-the-art Smart Solutions like Smart Homes and Smart Security are no longer just concepts, but a powerful reality.

Addison Stoddard CEO of Digicel TCI said, “This Christmas, we’re excited to reward customers with a super slick, superfast, super reliable home fibre experience, underpinned by service delivery that is, of course, second to none. Our entry-level plans are the fastest on the island and this puts us head and shoulders above any other internet offering in the country.”

The upgraded packages now start with download speeds of 50Mbps, and go up to 300Mbps for the speed demons and heavy gamers out there. This allows the Turks and Caicos Islands to connect to the global knowledge economy, have amazing entertainment options, and power their personal and professional experiences, thanks to these new superfast internet speeds.

Addison Stoddard continued, “It’s more of what our customers expect; more of what they want and it’s another way that we can be a part of our customers’ digital lives – at home, on the go, anywhere and everywhere. Simply put, Digicel+ is simply more.”

Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has solidified the importance of having a steady, powerful and reliable home internet connection, mainly due to many schools going online and parents working remotely. Now, with even faster internet speeds, customers get the best home fibre experience every time. This provides opportunities for MORE working, MORE schooling, MORE gaming, and MORE streaming with Digicel+.

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Bahamas News

Guys, Have 2 Minutes? Here’s How to Check Yourself for Testicular Cancer

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Testicular cancer is a rare form of cancer for men in The Bahamas.  It is highly curable — if you know it’s there!

 

November 30, 2021 – Men…how often do you perform a self-exam to check yourselves for testicular cancer?

While it’s a relatively rare form of cancer, young men aren’t exempt – in fact, testicular cancer occurs most often in young and middle-aged men. The good news is, it can usually be treated successfully.

The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a lump on your testicle. But that’s not the only sign of this disease.

Men who have testicular cancer may experience several different kinds of symptoms, says oncologist Timothy Gilligan, MD, a Medical Oncologist at Cleveland Clinic who specializes in treating testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer most frequently strikes men younger than age 44, and is the most commonly diagnosed cancer for men ages 15 to 34. It is almost always curable if found early, Dr. Gilligan says, and it is usually curable even when at a later stage. So it’s important to know signs and symptoms.

Here, Dr. Gilligan says, are five possible signs of testicular cancer you might not know about:

5 Testicular Cancer Symptoms That Aren’t a Lump  – Know what to look for and catch it early

  1. A feeling of heaviness or pressure in your scrotum.
  2. Change in testicle size or firmness.Certain types of testicular tumors can reduce testosterone or increase estrogen in the body, which can result in a change in testicle size or firmness.
  3. Swollen legs.When a tumor spreads to the lymph node, it can constrict blood flow in the veins and result in a blood clot. The clots often occur in the legs, which causes them to swell. You might even experience blood clot symptoms such as pain and difficulty breathing.
  4. Lower back pain and shortness of breath.These are symptoms of advanced testicular cancer, meaning the cancer has spread to lymph nodes behind your stomach. Shortness of breath also may signal that the cancer has spread to your lungs, which may make it harder for air to move in and out.
  5. Breast growth or tenderness.In rare cases, hormone changes also can cause breast tenderness or growth of breast tissue. Some tumors can secrete high levels of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which stimulates breast development.

If you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor right away, Dr. Gilligan says. If your physician diagnoses you with epididymitis or orchitis and the symptoms do not resolve quickly with antibiotics, request an ultrasound to evaluate for a testicular tumor.

“While up to 95 percent of men with testicular cancer are cured, it’s important to get care quickly if you’re experiencing symptoms because testicular cancers usually grow fast,” Dr. Gilligan says. “If there is disease, the earlier it is treated, the greater than chance for success.”

 

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PDM Deputy Leader lends to Beach Vending Bill debate from outside Parliament

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, November 30, 2021 – The Opposition party says the new Beach and Coastal Vending bill does not provide adequate protection for TCI vendors.

This came from Deputy Leader of the PDM Robert Been, in an open letter to the Speaker of the House of Assembly earlier today.

The Deputy Leader who claimed to be in direct contact with vendors in Sapodilla say while there are several provisions for penalties against the vendors in the bill it does not ‘adequately address the protection of vendors rights.’

The PDM referenced incidents of abuse from homeowners against vendors and said, “These homeowners, very often, insult and threaten vendors which is humiliating…There needs to be, in the law, something that clearly penalizes any overreaching harassment by property owners…situated near vendors.”

The Opposition deputy leader also said the Premier’s claim that the reshuffle of vendors will not affect their earnings was ‘misleading’ and ‘held no truth.’ They added that the section of roadway cited for the relocation was a known hazard and tourists would likely not frequent the area.

The PDM had several other requests to make the bill a more viable one for vendors. Been insisted that the government produce a timeline for the temporary relocation and allocate funds for a stimulus in case of loss of earnings on the vendors’ part. They also requested to see compulsory marketing for the vendor markets and questioned the lack of any clear avenue for redress should the government default on its promises.

Finally the PDM Deputy Leader called for CCTV cameras to be installed at every vendor site for both the protection of vendors and their wares and objectivity in conflict resolution.

The office of the Premier has not yet responded to the letter. The bill will be debated in the House today (November 30).

 

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