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Mark Fulford announces candidacy for leadership of TCI Opposition party, PNP

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#TurksandCaicosIslands – March 6, 2020 — FULL STATEMENT: Today I wish to announce my candidacy for Leadership of the PNP. The PNP Constitution mandates that leadership elections are due in March of this year.

Our country is at a crossroad, people are living in fear with crime at an all time high, the illegal immigrants continue to come by the boatloads, people are choosing whether to pay the power bill or buy groceries, – minimum wage does not match cost of living – our people are having to work 2 hours to choose between buying chicken or rice – our healthcare system is in disarray, single mothers cant get their children in Government schools as they are over populated, our people have no access to their own land other than to play the trash bag lottery,  our people have no access to capital or credit to start their business or buy a home, I’m deeply concerned about the future of this country, I hear the cries and feel the pain of  our people! This may be the last election to save our people from complete and total marginalization – that is why I am answering the call of service. 

Having worked at the top of government, as advisor to the first three Premiers;  Having served on national policy committees and led national agencies.  Having built a law firm with lawyers my senior and currently leading a major international charity, I understand our political and constitutional structure, and I believe in getting things done. I have a bold new vision for our country and our people.  Together our dreams can be fulfilled .  I am satisfied that I have the skills, the elders and advisors for guidance and I have a deep love for our country and our people.  Together we can achieve our country’s greatest potential and restore the value of being a Turks and Caicos Islander in the Turks & Caicos!

The problems in our country don’t leave me feeling hopeless, instead my first reaction is to develop solutions.  Our current leaders seem unsure of themselves. When you think of our people and how good decisions cannot just ease but remove the misery of crime and illegal migration or can drive our education system not just to be good, but to the top of the world’s rankings, when you have the nerve to demand of experts to show how TCI’s economy could be three times larger and TI’s could have access to credit…that’s the call of leadership!

As it relates to contesting a seat in the upcoming elections, I would say that I love every inch of our country, but I grew up in the twin islands and so did the current candidate who now lives there and I support him remaining there. National leaders should run at-large, even though its not required constitutionally.  In my vision I see a different Turks and Caicos, one where No person, no family, no community and no island will be left behind. 

Everyone prospers but our people come first; Turks and Caicos moves to the top of the ease of doing business in the global rankings; There will be a zero tolerance approach to crime and illegal migration;  We will be number one in the world in educational achievement; We will create a beautification culture that keeps our country a global example of cleanliness;  Our labour force will not work in luxury and go home to misery – minimum wage will be raised in line with cost of living; we will not pay high taxes yet cannot feel safe in our homes; gone will be the days where hardwork is not rewarded in every industry; gone will be the days where we will not have access to credit & capital. Gone will be the days that we have to play the lotto to obtain our land; Our Healthcare will be administered by the best & most experienced qualified Doctors. What I see for us is together restoring  the value of being a Turks and Caicos Islander in Turks and Caicos and ensuring that there is a fair and equal distribution of wealth in TCI! 
In Closing, let me say something about the current leader of the PNP,  Hon. C W Misick whether he hangs up his hat or not, its not for me to say.

My leadership quest does not have to be against the Hon. Washington C Misick. That man has had quite a career and he made his contribution.

The rules of democracy does not require me to put him down to put my agenda and candidacy forward. Obama was friends with his opponents who did not waiver support for his party. 

Recently After winning super Tuesday, Biden’s opponents have thrown their support behind him – the results of the leadership should not change your support for your party, we move on.  But this is not about Washington or Mark, this is about our people, and the call of leadership and what I see for us is based on what we deserve! I see it for us I want it for us and I am willing to work for it, for us. I am putting myself up to serve every Turks and Caicos Islander, regardless of party affiliation. We need to unite as a people if we want to truly realise our greatest potential. Do not lose hope,  we have always been a resilient people, everyone near and far who loves TCI as much as I do, and who call TCI home, join me in this fight to save our people and to save our country!

May the Good Lord impart his riches blessings on every living one in our beloved homeland Turks and Caicos Islands.  Mark A Fulford

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Health

Woman dies on Tuesday; 32nd Covid Death for Turks & Caicos

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos has recorded its 32nd death related to COVID-19.

A Ministry of Health press release informed that the individual who was in quarantine in Grand Turk and requested emergency aid on Tuesday; response came from the public health team in Grand Turk.

The person, who we are told is a special needs young woman – was unvaccinated and had underlying medical conditions.

The death rate in the Turks and Caicos of both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons has climbed alarmingly this year.  In the 21-month period from March 2020 when the country recorded its first case to December 2021, there were 26 deaths recorded in the TCI.

In the 19 days since the start of 2022 that number has increased to 32; which means six deaths already in January.

 

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Bahamas News

Cruising should slow down says PAHO

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

‘Slow down on Cruising’, that’s the word from the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO in their latest recent press conference.

Dr. Ciro Ugarte Director of Health Emergencies at the PAHO was referring to the Bahamas but made sure to note that the advice was highly relevant to many countries in the times of omicron.

“In the context of intense transmission, due to the Omicron variant as we have highlighted several times. It is just logical to suspend or at least limit the cruise ship traffic as an outbreak on board might end up exceedingly high and probably will go beyond the capacity of local health services”

Both the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos are experiencing a massive uptick in cases and several warnings regarding cruise travel have been issued by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Cruising just resumed for many regional countries this past Summer, Turks and Caicos was among the latest to restart on December 13.

A stop to sailing would be devastating to economies, however, ports of call like Grand Turk which are reeling with rocketing case numbers of COVID are urged to consider the suggestion of slowing down on ships by PAHO.

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Caribbean News

Understanding Sargassum with help from the TCI’s Department of Environment & Coastal Resources  

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By Sherrica Thompson

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, January 20, 2022 – Sargassum, also known as seaweed, is a natural brown macroalga that lives in temperate and tropical oceans of the world. The floating micro eco-system is important to many species, including baby turtles, little crabs, and tiny fish. All these animals use the floating rafts of the sargassum for protection, shelter, and food.

Over the years, sargassum has been increasing its quantity in the Caribbean due to climate change. As water temperatures increase, sargassum blooms, and as this continues, it occurs in large amounts. This can be dangerous for some marine life because when seaweed washes up on the shore, some species become trapped in the sargassum mat.

Environmental Outreach Coordinator at the Department of Environmental and Coastal Resources for TCI, Amy Avenant, says the Turks and Caicos Islands has not seen the worst of the overgrowth.

“In the Turks and Caicos Islands, we have not seen the full severity of sargassum blooms. Our neighbours in Bonaire, for example, experience up to six feet of sargassum, and they have found stranded dolphins, sea turtles, and sometimes even birds,” said Amy Avenant.

“When the sargassum washes up on shore, it starts to decompose, and when it decomposes, it emits methane, and that is the stinky sulfuric eggy smell that you can smell when you walk past it on the beach. It is a bad thing for climate change because of the methane, but it is not harmful to your health.”

Turks and Caicos saw this in extreme amounts in October; so severe, resorts were forced to bag and bury the stinky seaweed which for over a week covered the usually sandy white stretch of Grace Bay beach.

Avenant noted that in the TCI, we have a balance between managing the influx of sargassum and impacting the areas where it lands because its influx is correlated to the cycles of the moon.

She also said sargassum can be used as a fertilizer in farming. If you collect it, the advice is to spread it out and ensure you wash the excess salt off before adding to your gardens or farms.

There are also hidden dangers and habitat threats to the piles of sargassum on shorelines.

Avenant informed, when you see sargassum on the beach, ensure you watch out for wildlife that might be stuck and species which might have made a home of the ocean’s deposit which has washed up, this is heightened on rocky shores.

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