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TCI Passes on Chairmanship of OCTA after successful year

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#TurksandCaicos, March 2, 2018 – Providenciales – The Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Premier, Hon. Sharlene Cartwright-Robinson along with a delegation consisting of the Deputy Governor and EU Program Manager, Her Excellency Anya Williams, Permanent Secretary of Finance, Athenee Basden, Director of the Office of the Premier Ronlee James, TCI UK Representative and Head of the London Office, Tracy Knight and Consular Officer, Kimo Tynes attended the Ministerial Conference of the Association of Overseas Countries and Territories of the European Union (OCTA) and 16th annual European Union Overseas Countries and Territories Forum in Brussels, Belgium on the 22 and 23 of February, 2018.

The Turks and Caicos Islands has had a long relationship with European Union and as such the islands have significantly benefitted in expertise, advice and financial assistance over the years.  The TCI most recently benefitted from two European Development Funds (EDF) 10 and 11 and is also a participant in several Regional EU Programs.  Under the EDF 11 Program, which is focused on improvements in the education sector and sustainable energy, marine biodiversity, climate change and disaster risk reduction.

Commenting on the EU Forum and the continued partnership between the TCI and the EU, Premier Hon. Cartwright-Robinson said; “The Turks and Caicos continues to benefit over the years from funding through the European Development Fund programme, but moreover, the past several days spent with fellow OCTA Leaders and Representatives as well as European the Commission, signify to me their commitment to issues we face both collectively and individually.  It has been a rewarding year as Chair of OCTA and we look forward to continuing our relationship, building on the successes we both share.”

 

“Last year on assuming the Chair of OCTA, I outlined that one of the main areas my government would be focused on is the environment and renewable energy for the long-term protection, survival and vitality of our marine and eco environments and I was pleased to report on the success we have had at that, particularly in light of experiencing two major hurricanes in 2017.   But my governments commitment doesn’t end there.  I remain steadfast to the issues around Climate Change, a specific concern to all members of OCTA and which remit falls under my office, as we have begun to identify initiatives that will lower our carbon emission and footprint and increase our adaptability.”

Deputy Governor and EU Program Manager Her Excellency Anya Williams added; “As the European Development Fund Program Manager for the past five (5) years since the Turks and Caicos Islands was reinstated into the program in 2008, I am happy to report that the TCI currently manages one of the most successful EU programs in the region.  Programming Documents for the 11th EDF which focuses on the Education Sector were the 2nd in the region to be signed at the 15th OCT Forum held in Aruba in February 2017 and work is already well underway through the development of a new Education Sector Policy, the tendering of the construction of a new primary school on the island of Providenciales and a number of key strategic reforms in the education sector.

“We are grateful for our continued partnership with the EU and for the early release of the first tranche of $4m under this program which was received shortly after the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017 to assist with any potential cash shortfalls.  The Turks and Caicos has already submitted an application for emergency relief funding under the EDF 11 B Envelope to assist with rebuilding works required in our education sector and is also a part of the Regional Program which will be focusing on Renewable Energy and Marine Biodiversity, along with the Thematic Program which will be focusing on Climate Change.  We register our thanks to our technical team the PS Finance Mrs. Athenee Basden and Director of Strategic Policy and Planning Mrs. Kathleen Forbes (Deputy Program Manager) for their continued assistance in managing the EU work programs and along with colleagues in the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Infrastructure, Housing and Planning and Ministry of Tourism and the Environment look forward to even further progress on the EDF 11, Regional and Thematic work programs.

 

As the Chair of OCTA, the Premier was responsible for chairing the Ministerial Conference of OCTA and round table discussions, with her Ministerial colleagues.  This year, the TCI also participated in a one-day meeting on oceans organised by OCTA, under the theme “More than 17,000,000 Km2 of Ocean Policy: OCTs and the Sustainable Management of the Ocean and its resources.”  During that discussion, the Premier highlighted her governments challenges and commitment to the issues faced including: challenges with pollution, fisheries, new opportunities for blue growth and new opportunities for research.

It is customary for the Chair of OCTA to host a Gala Dinner in honour of the delegates, officials and guests who have travelled to the host country, or in this instance Brussels, for the auspicious occasion.  This year the Premier, as Chair, brought some of Turks and Caicos’ s best cultural performers along with her to treat guests to a taste of TCI’s culture, with musicians Quinton Dean and Lindsey “Zeus” Butterfield, as well as London based students Renate Hinds and Mary Fulford who performed both songs and poetry.

At the conclusion of the week of meetings, French Polynesia was elected as Chair of OCTA and thanked the TCI for its leadership over the past year and welcomed all to Tahiti next year where the next OCTA Ministerial and OCT EU Form 2019.

Press Release: TCIG

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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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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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