#TheBahamas – September 25, 2019 — Are we expected to believe that there are over one thousand, three hundred people wandering around in remote parts of Abaco and Grand Bahama or that there are over one thousand, three hundred people swimming in the open Atlantic Ocean or that there are over one thousand, three hundred people trapped under some fallen structure alive and well?
It is the question I toss to the wind when I view what the Bahamas Government continues to put forth, not when it comes to the death toll but as it relates to the individuals recorded as still missing.
It has been 24 days since Hurricane Dorian pulverised the heart of Abaco. It has been 23 days since Hurricane Dorian submerged Grand Bahama in unrelenting surge waters.
As a Christian nation, Bahamians do believe and hope for miracles of all sorts on a daily basis. This day in my nation’s history would be no exception.
It would inspire a national day of rejoicing if the over 1,300 who are registered as still missing since the hurricane were to turn up, be found alive or located among the 1,600 who are living in shelters. Truth be told, we would rejoice over even one who is found at this stage.
The official death toll report of Hurricane Dorian is a contention in The Bahamas.
Just over 50 people killed in the historic, catastrophic hurricane conveys the Government, despite the rebuke from residents and citizens and those in the international community over the low figure.
To those who were there, it is a ridiculous sham to hide the truth. What’s the point they wonder? And so do I?
I think the extreme protectiveness being exercised about this detail is prohibitive to the grieving and healing process.
I also think the aim of government to protect our hearts from the burden of the truth has run its course.
Three weeks on, The Bahamas is ready to know the truth, ready to prove that Bahamas strong is more than a trending hashtag; it is what and who we are. The hashtag mantra is especially noticeable in moments like these and with our global friends lending a hand, a bounce back for The Bahamas is inevitable. The peculiar cocktail to be prepared first requires that the truth to be known, that there is acceptance of that truth, allowance for the range of emotions as we cope with the truth and then the hardest part: letting go and moving ahead.
We will be crushed for a while and yes, some of us for a good long while, when we finally hear the count of the lives lost in the hurricane from hell, as it was appropriately dubbed. But we will do what we have proven we do best.
We will surround and shelter and support the broken-hearted. We will listen to their agonizing accounts of the day they lost so much and we will let their tears fall until or if they run dry. We will ensure there is dignity and empathy and help, lots and lots of good old fashioned, help.
We will pray for and with them and they, through the mercies of God will find that their hearts are healing. We will ensure they also eat, play, school, work and we will be there when they are ready to rebuild their lives.
It is clear and admitted, even by the country leaders who will not say it precisely, that the lives we have lost in the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama are far more than 53 people.
Three weeks later over one thousand, three hundred people are still missing and we do not need to be a Minister of Health, Director of NEMA, Police Commissioner or Prime Minister to know what has happened here…
My plea is simple and shared. Let the truth come forth and let the healing and rebuilding begin.
Cruise Trippers bought big with Carnival Cruise Line on Cyber Monday
By Dana Malcolm
December 1, 2022 – Cyber Monday isn’t just for electronics! Potential vacationers broke a Carnival Cruises Cyber Monday record for bookings, purchasing 50 per cent more tickets than 2019’s pre-pandemic shopping day.
The company cited a successful launch campaign of the new Carnival Celebration which visited Grand Turk recently and the three additional ships joining the fleet over the next 18 months, as major ticket pushers.
“The Cyber Monday sale activity showed consumer demand across the fleet, and we were particularly pleased with the booking activity for Carnival Venezia’s new year-round service from New York, and our new extended six-month program for Carnival Magic out of Norfolk,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line.
“Our very successful naming ceremony for Carnival Celebration on November 20 and all the media coverage it generated clearly kept Carnival top of mind as vacationers got started on their holiday shopping yesterday.”
They say the pent-up demand for cruising has manifested in multiple ways in 2022, as Carnival was the first major cruise line to have its entire fleet back in operation and it now has more rooms than it was sailing in 2019.
AG Pinder Makes a National Statement Regarding FTX Digital Markets Limited
By LLONELLA GILBERT
Bahamas Information Services
#TheBahamas, December 1, 2022 – Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Senator the Hon. Ryan Pinder made a National Statement on behalf of The Government of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, on the current situation regarding FTX Digital Markets Limited.
The AG explained that The Bahamas is a place of laws and the rule of law, and the exercise of due process, characterizes the integrity of its jurisdiction. “As the third-oldest democracy in the western hemisphere, our legal, regulatory and financial sectors have stood the test of time.”
He said given how quickly things have moved, it is hard to believe that it was only on November 2, that an article first appeared on the news site CoinDesk, with the details of a leaked financial statement of Alameda Research, a trading company also founded by Sam Bankman-Fried founder and CEO of FTX US Derivatives.
“I want to pause here to emphasize that among the over 100 companies located in dozens of jurisdictions around the world, FTX Digital Markets is the only entity regulated in The Bahamas,” AG Pinder said.
“Alameda Research is NOT regulated in The Bahamas. To the extent Alameda Research is found to have committed any improprieties in The Bahamas, then of course it will be subject to our jurisdiction.”
He said the balance sheet of Alameda Research, CoinDesk reported at that time, revealed that a large portion of their assets were held in FTT, a token issued by an FTX entity, that granted token holders a discount on trading fees.
He said this announcement prompted many FTX investors to withdraw hundreds of millions of dollars in digital assets from FTX – causing a liquidity crunch.
“In short, FTX was experiencing the equivalent of a ‘run on the bank,’ when customers all rush to withdraw assets simultaneously. Two days later, on November 8, it was reported that Binance had entered into a non-binding agreement to buy FTX. However, the very next day, November 9, Binance pulled out of the deal.”
Attorney General Pinder noted that one day later, November 10, the Securities Commission of The Bahamas, announced that it had taken action to freeze the assets of FTX Digital Markets, had suspended the registration of FTX Digital Markets as a licensee under The Digital Assets and Registered Exchanges Act, also known as the “DARE Act”, and applied to the Supreme Court of The Bahamas, pursuant to its regulatory authority under the DARE Act, to place the company into provisional liquidation.
“The speed with which the Securities Commission was able to move was remarkable by any standard. Over the course of eight days, market confidence was lost in a company which at one point had a $32 billion valuation.”
He said, “The Securities Commission deserves the highest praise for moving so swiftly and decisively to suspend FTX Digital Markets’ license and appoint provisional liquidators.
“In addition, the Securities Commission recognized that given the nature of digital assets, and the risks associated with hacking and compromise, placing FTX Digital Markets into provisional liquidation was not sufficient to protect the customers and creditors of the company.”
The AG said, therefore, pursuant to their authority under the DARE Act, and pursuant to an order of the Supreme Court of The Bahamas, the Securities Commission secured the assets of FTX Digital Markets to be held on behalf of and for the benefit and restitution of clients and creditors of FTX.
He explained that the Commission was the first regulator in the world to take significant steps with respect to the FTX group of companies, which has operations and regulated activities throughout the world. This was done for the purpose of protecting the interests of FTX’s customers and creditors, as well as the integrity of the Bahamian financial services industry.
Attorney General Pinder said, “The Securities Commission was able to move so quickly because of the strength of the legislative framework which was already in place in The Bahamas to regulate digital asset companies like FTX Digital Markets. No other jurisdiction in the world moved or could have moved this quickly in circumstances such as these.”
Bahamian Family Islands record a rise in traffic fatalities; warnings from Officials
By Shanieka Smith
#TheBahamas, December 1, 2022 – A number of traffic fatalities have occurred across The Bahamas over the past few weeks. Among the recent tragedies was a young boy overnight, and though he died on his bicycle on Rock Crusher Road in the country’s capital, Nassau it was another opportunity to sound the alarm.
Just days before, on Monday around 2 pm when the life of a 48-year-old male was lost in James Cistern, Eleuthera.
The Royal Bahamas Police lost Sgt Shamar Edgecome, 43 years old, on November 19 when his service jeep was found turned over in bushes; Edgecombe ejected. Island Administrator for Acklins, Wilma Colebrooke revealed the officer was assigned to duty at the Lovely Bay area.
Chief Superintendent, Shanta Knowles from the Eleuthera Police Division has called on motorists to be more vigilant and pay attention to road regulations. She said road checks are done regularly to remind drivers of traffic regulations such as the use of seatbelts and driving within the speed limit.
To date, there have been recorded fatalities in the areas of Eleuthera, Grand Bahama, New Providence, Acklins, and North Andros.
Eight Mile Rock Island Administrator, Ricardo Ferguson believes that lighting is an issue in his area and plans to meet with the police Chief Superintendent, other traffic officials and the Grand Bahama Power and Light Company to discuss a solution. Ferguson stressed that waiting until things happen before addressing issues will only result in further loss of life.
The Officer in charge of Family Islands Assistant Commissioner of Police, Bernard K Bonamy Jr was asked about the infrastructure and condition of roads to which he said driving carefully is crucial, regardless of available infrastructure and road conditions.
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