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Eight Resorts caught on camera; Taxi Drivers say ‘stop stealing our jobs’

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#TurksandCaicos,February 13, 2021 – Public Service driver license holders say the times are just too rough economically for resorts to be allowed to breach Road Traffic rules and act as taxis, which cuts down on jobs and incomes in an already depressed industry.

At least eight resort complimentary vehicles were caught red-handed dropping guests off at shopping districts, restaurants and tour sites as taxi drivers sat waiting for the opportunity.   The complimentary vehicles were filmed and photographed.

“Stop it!  Because we are already at a disadvantage right now.  We are all looking to feed our families and we are paying our business licenses and you’re taking away from local drivers.  You’re breaking the law,” said a driver who reported what was seen to our news organization and relayed what needs to happen. 

“Drivers are at all of these resorts and watching what is happening to them; it is unfair.”

It is unfair and it is illegal, agreed Wilbur Caley, the director of the Road Safety Department which licenses motor vehicles. 

“I have just written to two resorts about this very complaint.  In the letter I have informed the resorts that the are in breach of Section 5, subsection 2 of the Road Traffic Ordinance,” said Caley in a telephone interview.  “My advice to them was to cease and desist.  You simply cannot do it and I have copied the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police and the TCI Tourist Board on the reported violation.”

The fine for breaking this law is $1,000 and in extreme cases, the license of the complimentary vehicle could be suspended by a court of law.

“There are 300 drivers and since Covid-19 and the country’s reopening, we have not been seeing the same number of tourists.  We are at about 30 percent of the business we had before the pandemic hit. If we are lucky, we get one job a day now and the load is cut in half.  We used to be able to take 10 passengers, now it is five people which is 50 percent.  So we are earning a lot less.“

The driver speaking to Magnetic Media said the new curfew  which runs from 6pm to 6 am is also hurting them too.

“There are drivers who worked mainly at night; I would say they’ve lost 40 to 50 percent of income because they no longer have those dinner runs.”

The Ford Transit and the Chevy E350 are the transport vehicles of choice for taxi drivers in the ground transportation industry.  

“What you could have made in one day, now you have to work two to three days and you have to re-fuel and fuel is more expensive.”

Public Service Drivers have also embraced the changes in health protocols to fit this post-COVID era.  Capacity is reduced by 50 percent; drivers must wear gloves and face covering; there must be sanitizer for use when people enter and exit the vehicles and the electrostatic foggers – which were donated to the drivers by Beaches Resort – continue to be useful. 

“We use the foggers between runs.”

 Complimentary vehicles, owned by resorts are only permitted to shuttle guests between properties. 

Caribbean News

Vessels sink with 900 barrels of fuel in Trinidad

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

#Trinidad, December 2, 2022 – The Ministry of Energy and Energy Resources in Trinidad reported on Wednesday that a ship carrying 900 barrels of diesel fuel had sunk in the Gulf of Paria. The six crew members on board were rescued and received medical assessment.

The statement revealed that the barge owned by Trinity Liftboat Services Limited was trying to demobilise Trinity Heritage Petroleum Company’s North Field when it capsized.

After receiving an SOS from a vessel in their North Field, Heritage sent out a response team. An investigation into the incident has started, however, the main focus is to redeem the barge without making any oil spills.

The owners of the sunken vessel said “there are no injuries recorded. (The vessel) now sits on the seafloor no longer posing a risk to any of Heritage Petroleum’s platforms or installations.” They said the captain made a good decision to abandon the ship so that the crew members could be rescued and transported back to base.

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Bahamas News

Digital coin created for Caribbean’s Dominica as island partners with Huobi

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By Shanieka Smith

Staff Writer

 

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.

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Bahamas News

Imminent Worldwide Measles Threat; 25 Million CHILDREN miss First Dose

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

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.

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