Thousands of University of The Bahamas students benefit from Govt’s tuition-free programme
#NASSAU, Bahamas – February 3, 2020 — Approximately 2,900 of almost 5,000 students enrolled at the University of The Bahamas (UB) are benefitting from the Government’s Tertiary Education Grant Programme initiated last August to increase tuition-free access to tertiary education for qualified Bahamians, said Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis.
Of that number, 178 are receiving the additional $500 per month residential grant to help defray the cost of housing for qualified students who must relocate from the Family Islands to attend UB, the Prime Minister added.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony for UB’s $95-million-dollar Residence and Multi-Purpose Complex on Thursday 30 January.
“The progressive and sustainable economic development of The Bahamas rests on the proper education and training of our people,” said Prime Minister Minnis.
“The University of The Bahamas plays a fundamental role in this regard.”
The complex will encompass: 1,000-bed capacity for student residents; 400 parking stalls; more than 50,000 square feet of common areas including a fitness centre, study rooms, a 200-seat dining hall, a 500-seat ballroom and a spiritual life centre; a University Village for leased retail commercial and business operations, and faculty residences.
UB has entered into a public-private partnership for the new complex. Providence Investment and Asset Campus International, an affiliate of the third-party student housing operator Asset Campus Housing, are designing, constructing and will operate this multi-purpose area.
The principals of the Bahamian-owned Providence Investment and Development Company Ltd. have advised that construction of Phase 1 is anticipated to be completed by June 2021, and Phase 2 is scheduled to be completed by November 2021.
Prime Minister Minnis said the groundbreaking marked the start of one of the single largest investments in the Over-the-Hill community in the country’s history.
Given the particular vulnerabilities posed by severe weather produced by Hurricane Dorian, the project team modified the design to mitigate against potential wind damage and flooding, said the Prime Minister.
The design and construction is based on climate change adaptation. Building for resilience was a fundamental consideration, Prime Minister Minnis noted.
“Once completed, this University and Residence and Multi-Purpose Complex will help to revitalize surrounding communities, injecting new vitality and providing opportunities for community engagement and business investments,” said the Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Minnis said his administration has been resolute in its determination to revitalize Over-the-Hill communities, particularly through several innovative initiatives.
“We are vigorously supporting small- and medium-sized businesses by providing them with the incentives and assistance needed to nurture the dreams and develop the skills and talents of Bahamian entrepreneurs,” said Prime Minister Minnis.
“We are also encouraging absentee landowners to re-develop their ancestral homes, properties and abandoned buildings.”
The Prime Minister also pointed to the creation of tax-free economic zones in Over-the-Hill communities to encourage business growth and spur job-creation, and legislation that allows for duty free concessions on construction materials and building supplies used in the construction of business premises and new and/or refurbished owner-occupied homes. The Government is also helping to develop these tax-free economic zones within a safe and clean environment with each zone addressing the socio-economic situation in the area, through tripartite arrangements with landlords, government agencies and Bahamian investors, said Prime Minister Minnis.
Soca Warriors crush Bahamas at home
By Rashaed Esson
#TheBahamas, March 27, 2023 – Trinidad and Tobago’s Soca Warriors dominated the Bahamas at home, at the Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau, for the 2022/2023 Concacaf Nations League on Friday, with a 3-0 victory.
The Soca Warriors struck their first blow within the first 5 minutes of the game, with Kareem Moses making the first shot in the top left corner of the net giving T&T one to the Bahamas’ zero (1-0).
Soon after, in about 26 minutes, they made another shot giving them 2-0 away from home; the scorer Joevin Jones. By the 34th minute mark, the winning goal was made by Ryan Telfer, T&T now at three.
Neither team scored any additional goals as the match progressed despite attempts made by various players.
Trinidad’s win gives them 12 points through five matches. Next match for the Soca Warriors is against Nicaragua; that clash is set for Monday March 27 (at home in Tobago at the Dwight Yorke Stadium), in a tussle of winner-take-all on the final match day. The victor takes home a promotion to League A and a spot in the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup.
Angus Eve, T&T’s head coach expressed that the job is only half done, keeping aware that more challenges are coming their way, one of which is the nearing match against Nicaragua who is one point ahead of the Warriors.
Meanwhile, The Bahamas will journey to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with hopes of emerging victorious there.
7 million lives at risk because of salt
March 24, 2023 – Without immediate and widespread efforts at curbing salt intake, 7 million lives will be lost by 2030 according to the World Health Organization. The warning follows the first-ever Global Report on Sodium Intake Reduction, which revealed that the world would not meet its sodium intake reduction target of 30 percent by 2025 on its current path.
With only 5% of WHO Member States protected by mandatory and comprehensive sodium reduction policies, the rest of the world must immediately implement ‘highly cost-effective sodium reduction policies to protect against some of the most common non-communicable diseases.
No Caribbean country was mentioned in the group of nine countries with comprehensive salt laws, but Barbados is currently set to make effective stringent regulations to govern food consumption and food quality.
Tedros Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General said:
“Most countries are yet to adopt any mandatory sodium reduction policies, leaving their people at risk of heart attack, stroke, and other health problems. The WHO calls on all countries to implement the ‘Best Buys’ for sodium reduction, and on manufacturers to implement the WHO benchmarks for sodium content in food.”
North America and the Caribbean have the highest child diabetes statistics in the world, with the second highest prevalence in adults as well. In Turks and Caicos in particular, over 300 hundred residents have failing kidneys, a number described as ‘alarming’ by experts. Kidney disease is fueled in most cases by diabetes and hypertension.
The WHO is then advising Governments to do four things:
- Reformulating foods to contain less salt, and setting targets for the amount of sodium in foods and meals.
- Establishing public food procurement policies to limit salt or sodium-rich foods in public institutions such as hospitals, schools, workplaces, and nursing homes.
- Front-of-package labelling that helps consumers select products lower in sodium.
- Behaviour change communication and mass media campaigns to reduce salt/sodium consumption.
With these measures in place, the salt reduction target can still be achieved, according to the WHO.
FBI and Bahamas looking into woman’s death
#TheBahamas, March 17, 2023 – The FBI is investigating a woman’s ‘suspicious’ death on a Carnival Cruise ship in February. The unnamed woman and her husband boarded the Carnival Sunshine on February 27th, for a trip to the Bahamas, but she was dead before they arrived in the port in The Bahamas.
The FBI said Carnival’s team had administered life saving measures when the woman was reported unresponsive, but they were unsuccessful. The body and the woman’s husband were released to the Bahamian authorities when the cruise arrived in the country.
In a statement shared with US media houses, Carnival Cruises claimed the death has been a natural one. The Nassau Guardian said a source told them the police findings had concurred with that assessment saying it was a “normal sudden death of a tourist who wasn’t feeling well.”
The FBI was waiting for the cruise and when it got back to South Carolina on March 4th, they immediately boarded and began to investigate the room based on ‘evidence of a crime.’ The FBI also searched the couple’s car.
No updates have been shared to contradict the currently established cause of death.
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