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EDITORIAL: Who or What caused COVID-19 and when are we gonna catch them?

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A general view shows some of 35 coffins of deceased people stored in a warehouse in Ponte San Pietro, near Bergamo, Lombardy, on March 26, 2020 prior to be transported in another region to be cremated, during the country's lockdown following the COVID-19 new coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Piero CRUCIATTI / AFP)

#Caribbean – April 17, 2020 — Someone needs to answer for the Coronavirus which has infected over two million people around the globe, killed over 145,000 of those infected and collapsed dreams, industries and economies. 

In under four months, the contagion has wiped out decades of dedicated work to building a more interlinked and interlocked global community and deflated the expectation for a buoyant beginning to a new decade.

The 2020 we all imagined is forever tarnished, and while there is optimism that this season will pass, it is startling that country leaders – save for maybe one – lack vigor when it comes to finding the culprit.

Wuhan, China – file

At an agonizingly slow pace, truths are emerging including that China under reported deaths related to the novel coronavirus by 40 percent and other, more controversial charges allege that the disease is not at all derived from a bat bought and eaten in Wuhan through its blacklisted wet market, but more dastardly, that it was created in a laboratory in that capital city of China’s Hubei province.

It is a peculiar thing to many mourners, onlookers and victims that this crime against humanity, as it appears to be, has no obvious investigator trying to hunt down the perpetrator.

Usually, in events when people are hurt or killed, there is unrelenting, headlining, focus on catching a suspect; apprehending a possible killer.  Not only in an effort to ensure someone is held responsible for the injustice, but to ensure that the tragedy never, ever repeats itself.

Not so or less so in this case.

The world’s health police has reported no such investigation and the world’s leaders who pay them on behalf of the 7.5 billion people on the planet, including the 145,000 who have died and the 195 million projected to be thrust into unemployment are virtually ‘mum’ on the matter.

Official portrait of President Donald J. Trump, Friday, October 6, 2017. (Official White House photo by Shealah Craighead)

Except for the vociferous Donald Trump, President of the United States of America – who was scolded  for announcing that the US would halt funding to the United Nations’ health arm, aka the World Health Organization – there is no mainstream report of someone demanding better service by the WHO and prominently pursuing  who caused this mess.

As expected, since U.S. President Trump made his announcement, there are finally media reports probing and pressing for pertinent answers on who is responsible for the virus which has precipitated such a dismal level of causalities and a world recession of unprecedented proportions, as announced by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) earlier this week.

It is unacceptable that people who have scraped and scrounged, people who have dug deep and plowed hard to build their families and countries had to die alone; locked in a room, forced to make death declarations to four walls, or strangers all while gasping for air, when they ordinarily enjoyed a rich relationship with their loved ones.

It is unacceptable, that millions of people, who were poised to have their best year ever financially, have had to accept letters of termination or closed the doors of businesses they have built from scratch. 

It is unacceptable that we can no longer shake each other’s hands or give a greeting by kiss or hug; that we are now afraid to speak face to face due to fear that a sliver of saliva may reach our mouths or eyes and infect us with this respiratory attacker.

It is unacceptable that people who have labored in the valued medical profession are being sickened, are terrified of going to their own homes, being with their own families and some of them catching COVID-19 and dying from it.

It is unacceptable that we cannot visit our aged -parents and grand-parents because they have superannuated and are most susceptible to death from this disease.  Generations unfairly unhinged by this public health crisis.

Caribbean Country Leaders in CARICOM meeting this week. Photo from The Bahamas Office of the Prime Minister

And it is unacceptable that our governments, who in most of our small island countries were already struggling to make ends meet for the people dependent upon them, are now scampering to find solutions. We have watched these administrators labour for ways to ease the pain, fill the voids and pledge what they cannot afford, which means our indebted countries are plunged further into debt. 

Deandrea Hamilton
Magnetic Media CEO

If my commentary sounds angry about what Coronavirus has done to the world; you are not mistaken.  I am angry and I am brokenhearted every time I consider the pain and suffering this is causing to my fellow human beings.

We all hear the rumors and reports, so conveniently labelled ‘fake news’ about the possible motivation for this allegedly man-made contagion.  Greed and Pride and Folly; among the most shallow characteristics have probably birthed this beast.

I am a believer in Jesus Christ and Almighty God and so I know there is purpose and there is embedded within humankind an indomitable spirit which will cause us to prevail and to emerge enriched by this experience. 

Still, my faith in this truth does not extinguish the fire for answers and explanations on behalf of mankind.

The culprit or culprits cannot and must not go undetected or unpunished and 2020 must be the year when global organisations which pledge to uphold marvelous mandates on behalf of humanity, will recommit to doing their jobs or else face being terminated by the people of this planet.

It is time to find the cause of this killer of our loved ones, our livelihoods, our ways of life and our economies; it is time to for the narrative to shift from coping with COVID-19 to catching whomever is culpable.

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.

News

First remarks of New UK Prime Minister, Keir Starmer of the Labour Party; Wins 412 seats in Landslide Victory

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#UnitedKingdom, July 5, 2024

 

“I have just returned from Buckingham Palace… Where I accepted an invitation from His Majesty the King…

To form the next government of this great nation.  I want to thank the outgoing Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak.

His achievement as the first British Asian Prime Minister of our country… The extra effort that will have required…  Should not be underestimated by anyone.

We pay tribute to that today… And we also recognise the dedication and hard work he brought to his leadership.

But now our country has voted, decisively… For change.  For national renewal. And a return of politics to public service. When the gap between the sacrifices made by people…

And the service they receive from politicians…Grows this big.

It leads to a weariness in the heart of a nation.

A draining away of the hope, the spirit, the belief in a better future… That we need to move forward, together.

Now, this wound…This lack of trust…

Can only be healed by actions not words… I know that.

But we can make a start today… With the simple acknowledgment…

That public service is a privilege.

And that your government should treat every single person in this country… With respect.

If you voted for Labour yesterday… We will carry the responsibility of your trust, as we rebuild our country.

But whether you voted Labour or not… In fact – especially if you did not…

I say to you, directly…My government will serve you.

Politics can be a force for good – we will show that.

And that is how we will govern.

Country first, party second.

Yet, if I’m honest… Service is merely a pre-condition for hope.

And it is surely clear to everyone… That our country needs a bigger reset…

A rediscovery of who we are.

Because no matter how fierce the storms of history… One of the great strengths of this nation…Has always been our ability to navigate a way through to calmer waters.

And yet this depends upon politicians… Particularly those who stand for stability and moderation – as I do… Recognising when we must change course.

For too long now… We have turned a blind eye as millions slid into greater insecurity.

Nurses, builders, drivers, carers… People doing the right thing

Working harder than ever… Recognised – at moments like this, before.

Yet as soon as the cameras stop rolling… Their lives are ignored.

I want to say very clearly to those people – not this time.

Changing a country is not like flicking a switch… And the world is now a more volatile place.

This will take a while.

But have no doubt that the work of change begins – immediately.

Have no doubt – that we will rebuild Britain… With wealth created in every community.

Our NHS back on its feet, facing the future. Secure borders…Safer streets… Everyone treated with dignity and respect at work.

The opportunity of clean British power…Cutting your energy bills for good.

And, brick by brick… We will rebuild the infrastructure of opportunity…

The world class schools and colleges…The affordable homes that I know… Are the ingredients of hope for working people…

The security that working class families like mine… Could build their lives around.

Because if I asked you, now… Whether you believe that Britain will be better for your children… I know – too many of you would say: no.

And so my government will fight, every day… Until you believe again.

From now on… You have a government unburdened by doctrine… Guided only by a determination to serve your interests…To defy, quietly…

Those who have written our country off.

You have given us a clear mandate… And we will use it to deliver change… To restore service and respect to politics… End the era of noisy performance…

Tread more lightly on your lives… And unite our country.

Four nations… Standing together again… Facing down, as we have so often in our past…

The challenges of an insecure world…Committed – to a calm and patient rebuilding.

So with respect and humility… I invite you all… To join this government of service…

In the mission of national renewal. Our work is urgent…

And we begin it today.

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Caribbean News

At least 3 million children at risk as Hurricane Beryl hits the Caribbean

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UNICEF and partners have pre-positioned life-saving supplies and stand ready to provide services to children and families in several countries

 

PANAMA CITY, July 3, 2024 – The first major hurricane of the year, Hurricane Beryl, made landfall in the southeast Caribbean on Monday, 1 July, causing widespread damage.  The winds, torrential rains and flash flooding could put at least 3 million children in the Caribbean at risk, according to UNICEF estimates.

Hurricane Beryl tore through Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados and Saint Lucia, bringing high winds, storm surges and heavy rain that has damaged safe spaces for children, including homes and schools.

“As Hurricane Beryl continues its path through the Caribbean Sea, all efforts must be made to prevent loss of life and keep children safe,” said Karin Hulshof, UNICEF Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “Our teams across the Caribbean are ready to support national efforts in providing humanitarian assistance to families in need.”

While extreme weather events put the lives of the most vulnerable children and families at risk, UNICEF supports emergency preparedness efforts throughout the region. “Investing in national capacities to prepare for and respond to climate-related emergencies and provide essential services for children is critical,” added Karin Hulshof.

UNICEF and partners have pre-positioned life-saving supplies in several countries in the Caribbean Basin, including medical kits, educational kits, essential water supplies, sanitation and hygiene materials (such as water tanks, large bottles and water purification tablets), and key equipment such as high-quality tents, which will be deployed as needed.

Latin America and the Caribbean is the second most disaster-prone region in the world. In the Caribbean, 1.9 million people, including half a million children and adolescents, are affected by disasters each yearSmall Island and Developing States in the Caribbean are particularly vulnerable to climate shocks due to their small size and extreme exposure to natural hazards, and the effects of climate change.

This year, UNICEF has requested US$12.4 million to prepare for, and respond to, emergencies in Latin America and the Caribbean, including in countries in the Caribbean Basin.

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Bahamas News

Inaugural Ethiopian Airlines flight arrives for historic Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM 2024) in The Bahamas

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By LINDSAY THOMPSON
Bahamas Information Services

HE Mahamadou Issoufou, former president, Republic of Niger, and Leader of the African Continental Free Trade Area

NASSAU, The Bahamas — Just before 5pm on Tuesday, June 11, 2024 Ethiopian Airlines – a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner — touched down at Jet Aviation bringing 241 delegates for the historic 31st Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM 2024), and the Third Edition of the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF) in the capital.

It was also history in the making for Ethiopian Airlines – its inaugural flight to The Bahamas: touching down under hazy skies and warm conditions indicative of June weather.

On hand for the arrival was the Hon. Alfred Sears, Minister of Immigration and National Insurance, as well as other officials.

The Department of Immigration and Jet Aviation set up a welcome desk near the tarmac, to allow for a smooth process, and offered water and soft drinks.

Among delegates were His Excellency Mahamadou Issoufou, Former President, Republic of Niger and Leader of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA); His Excellency Hailemariam Desalegn, former prime minister of Ethiopia; Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Deputy Chairperson for the African Union Commission/United Nations Economic Commission for Africa; international media, performers and musicians, and other conference participants.

It is the first time AAM will be held in the Caribbean region. The meetings will run June 12 – 14, 2024 at Baha Mar Resort, Cable Beach. The theme for the event is: “Owning Our Destiny: Economic Prosperity on the Platform of Global Africa.”

It is envisioned that the impact of the three-day event will be heightened by the Opening Ceremony, the Presidential Plenary, and high-level panel sessions.

On April 11, 2024, The Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas and African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) signed an Agreement for The Bahamas to host the 31st Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM) and the third edition of the AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF) from 12 – 14 June 2024.

At that signing, Prime Minister Davis underscored the importance of his country hosting the historic meetings.

He said: “Hosting both the AAM and ACTIF demonstrates the determination and commitment of The Bahamas to leverage on the shared history, identities, and cultures of AfriCaribbean nations to forge significantly greater trade, investment, and direct transport linkages.”

Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa, Deputy Chairperson for the African Union Commission escorted by Ivan Thompson, Protocol Division Ministry of Foreign Affairs

And added: “Doing so will stimulate economic growth and development, which will feed through to immensely beneficial societal impact. It is also vital that we enhance our global influence by speaking with a unified voice on matters such as securing global action to meaningfully address climate change.”

The focus will be on the emerging neo-protectionism from advanced economies and the need for Africans to pursue self-determination in the context of a global Africa that includes the Caribbean and the Diaspora generally.

The AfriCaribbean Trade and Investment Forum (ACTIF) will be marked by colourful events to celebrate shared AfriCaribbean culture, as well as elevate the essence of the two regions’ shared socio-economic aspirations.

Among the Keynote Speakers are: the Hon Philip Davis, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas; the Hon Mia Amor Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados; His Excellency Dr. Irfaan Ali, Chairperson of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and President of Guyana; and His Excellency Issoufou, Former President, Republic of Niger and Leader of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Other speakers include Senator the Hon. Michael Halkitis, Minister of Economic Affairs, The Bahamas; His Excellency Ulrich “Rick” Alexander Fox, Ambassador-at-Large of The Bahamas and CEO of Partanna Global; Dr. Roger W. Ferguson, Jr., Former Vice-Chair of the Federal Reserve, USA; and Mr. Jeannel Wyclef Jean, Musician, Muse IC Incorporated.

(BIS Photos/Mark Ford)

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