#Freeport, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas – May 7, 2020 — Final repairs to the Fishing Hole Road Bridge are expected to be completed before or at least by the beginning of the hurricane season, which begins in June, according to Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Reconstruction, the Hon. Iram Lewis.
Minister Lewis, along with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. K. Peter Turnquest, Minister of State for Grand Bahama Senator the Hon. Kwasi Thompson, and Member of Parliament for West Grand Bahama and Bimini, Mrs. Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe toured the Fishing Hole Road Bridge on Wednesday morning (May 6, 2020) as workers were busy carrying out repairs.
Minister Lewis noted that the repairs will make the bridge much stronger than it was when it was originally constructed: “We promised to build back better and stronger and so we are witnessing progress to repairs of the bridge. The concrete replaces the asphalt that was there pre-Dorian. What we have now is stronger and more resilient.”
Deputy Prime Minister, Peter Turnquest noted that the bridge will be necessary to protecting lives and providing access for emergency services in and out of West Grand Bahama. He said the causeway helps to spur on local commerce on the island of Grand Bahama: “Particularly now that we are in a situation where we are going to have to depend more on our domestic economy than we do on our visitors — to have this access between West Grand Bahama and Freeport has become critical.”
He noted that the repaired bridge will serve as the primary means of access for residents, but added that the lower road will operate as a service road for heavy equipment. He said that although the repairs have made the bridge stronger and capable of heavy loads, the idea of the service road will be to take the stress of heavy loads moving back and forth.
“While progress has been slower than what we would want, it only goes to show that these things are technical issues and we want to make sure that we do it right and spend the money to get the best value for the Bahamian people,” said Minister Turnquest. “So, we appreciate the patience and we will continue to improve on our infrastructure and deliver the services that the Grand Bahamian people deserve and need.”
Minister Turnquest thanked the Contractors from ABC Construction for their commitment to first completing the project, and then making the necessary repairs.
West Grand Bahama and Bimini Member of Parliament, and Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister, Pakesia Parker-Edgecombe said that West Grand Bahama is happy to see repair to the bridge is nearing completion.
She noted that the flooding at the Fishing Hole Road has become legendary among Grand Bahamians and a bone of contention for many years, wreaking havoc on travel for residents living in West Grand Bahama, who have to traverse the Fishing Hole Road to get to work.
The new bridge has been purposed to bring an end to that age-old problem: “The fact that this bridge is being built better and stronger attests to our resiliency in moving forward with regards to being prepared in hurricanes,” said Mrs. Edgecombe.
She added, “To know that the only connecting point out of West Grand Bahama into the eastern part of Grand Bahama is going to be completed is absolutely good news for us, and we can’t wait for it to be finished.”
BIS News by Andrew Coakely
Digital coin created for Caribbean’s Dominica as island partners with Huobi
By Shanieka Smith
December 2, 2022 – The Commonwealth of Dominica has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, to issue its own national cryptocurrencies, Dominica Coin (DMC), and Digital Identity Documents (DID), already reports indicate a surge for the Huobi token.
This new collaboration with Dominica will bring the Caribbean one step closer to being a global cryptocurrency exchange centre. Huobi also announced its intention to move headquarters from Seychelles to the Caribbean.
It was explained, “The deal is noteworthy partly because of its connections to crypto billionaire Justin Sun, founder of the Tron blockchain where the Caribbean island’s new token will initially reside.”
Dominica Coin (DMC) and digital identity documents (DID) will be issued by Huobi Prime via the TRON network (a project dedicated to building the infrastructure for a truly decentralized Internet); both will serve as credentials for the future metaverse platform based in Dominica. DIDs can be used for cryptocurrency Know Your Customer verification, applying for loans, and opening bank accounts on the island.
The DMC is not yet ready for launch, but The HT token is up 15% over the last 24 hours to $7.12. It’s up 40% over the past seven days.
As one of the first Caribbean islands to adopt the citizenship-by-investment policy, the Dominican government is seeking to delve into the metaverse and Web3 technology as a means to boost the country’s development.
Imminent Worldwide Measles Threat; 25 Million CHILDREN miss First Dose
By Dana Malcolm
December 2, 2022 – Forty million children are at risk of Measles as what the World Health Organization is describing as an “imminent threat” takes shape. A joint report between the WHO and the U.S. Centres for Disease Control revealed that a record number of children missed their measles dose with 25 million children missing their first dose and 14.7 million children missing their second dose in 2021 alone.
Nine million cases of measles were recorded last year, twenty-two countries experienced large and disruptive outbreaks and 128,000 deaths occurred, the report says.
“The paradox of the pandemic is that while vaccines against COVID-19 were developed in record time and deployed in the largest vaccination campaign in history, routine immunization programmes were badly disrupted, and millions of kids missed out on life-saving vaccinations against deadly diseases like measles,” said Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
Measles is easily one of the most contagious viruses in the world and while many people think itchy spots when they think of the disease it can cause pneumonia, seizures and brain damage in about 30 percent of infected individuals.
Herd immunity will not work with this disease, say experts, unless 95 per cent of people or more are vaccinated; only 71 per cent of children in 2022 are fully vaccinated.
“Measles anywhere is a threat everywhere” the report said, emphasizing that no WHO region has achieved and sustained measles elimination.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried admitted he’d screwed up
By Shanieka Smith
December 2, 2022 – An interview with FTX founder Sam Bankman- Fried on Wednesday at the DealBook Summit revealed that there were no risk management teams or form of corporate control to help govern the organisation.
The CEO said he was shocked by what had taken place. While he had made loans to his hedge fund Alameda, Bank-Fried said he did not intentionally commingle the funds.
Bankman-Fried acknowledged that he had a responsibility to the company and all its customers but he “screwed up.” “There was no person who was chiefly in charge of positional risk of customers on FTX, and that feels pretty embarrassing in retrospect,” he shared.
The investigation is ongoing and it still needs to be clarified whether customers will be able to regain any funds.
Former Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer Howard Fischer said that Bankman-Fried’s comments are being scrutinised. “Everything he says that turns out to be contradicted by admissible evidence will be taken as evidence of deceit.”
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